Friday, July 06, 2018

Better Scheduling: Improving Student Service

Several years ago the grade-level team worked to promote a better schedule for our overall teaching with regard to all students. We have found the new schedule to be effective and now we are looking deeply at how we schedule the many other services and special events that students receive during the school day. We feel that this will even better what we can do for and with students.

How will we do this?

First, we will read students Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) with depth. We'll chart students' goals and service delivery time so that when it comes to scheduling we'll understand deeply what children with IEPs are entitled to with regard to special education services.

Next, we'll think about other services and special events that impact student learning including the following:

  • Affinity groups
  • PLCs
  • RTI
  • Student Service Meetings
  • Field Studies
  • Expert Visitors
  • School Assembly
  • Recess, Lunch, Movement Breaks
  • Instrumental
  • Music Workshop
After that, I believe that we have to prioritize students' services and program events with the following questions:
  • What teaching/learning/program events are critical to all students--what can't or shouldn't they miss? I can imagine that the following will be included: lunch, recess, core subjects, field trips, and expert visitors.
  • Where can we schedule two or more events at once. For example can Occupational Therapy (OT) be scheduled in conjunction with RTI, art, or technology class? Can Physical Therapy (PT) be scheduled with gym class, recess, or music? Can some programming be scheduled as a block for a quarter of a year rather than all year or during specific field studies rather than weekly?
  • Also how will we schedule special educators related to project work and special events? Should special educators put aside one or two whole days for our grade level so that they are available for our many project/problem based learning events, field studies, and expert visitors--events that often require the extra support? 
I think we can be more creative and targeted with scheduling to help every child learn more better. We're taking the first step as a school by having scheduling meeting with whole grade levels and all specialists at the start of the school year so that services can begin as close to day one as possible. This is a step in the right direction. During the summer, I'll be thinking more about this so that we can provide every child with as much targeted learning and teaching support as possible to support their successful learning, happiness, and growth.