School time profiles GATHERED THROUGH UNLOCKINGTIME.org
of ALL secondary schools REPORT USING block schedules
of school staff think maximizing time to meet student needs is important
“The Prisoners of Time” report issued by the National Education Commission was originally published in 1994. Almost 25 years later, America’s K-12 schools still struggle to unlock time to improve teaching and learning. Most schools have traditional schedules and academic calendars that often can’t meet the individual needs of students and teachers. As a result, students in many schools aren’t able to get the classes and support they need to prepare for college and careers, teachers often don’t have enough time to collaborate and grow professionally, and school staff find it difficult to juggle the growing number of non-academic activities. In addition, many school districts and states seem to have very little information about how schools actually organize their time, making it difficult to understand which time-based strategies are most effective and how to develop new education policies that encourage and support new uses of time in schools.
Launched with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UnlockingTime.org provides free online tools and resources to reimagine time in schools. The School Time Assessment is a free survey tool offering school teams insights on how time is organized at their school. This sparks a rich dialogue with staff around the unique needs of their community. Staff spends 10 minutes taking the assessment, anonymously answering questions about calendars, bell schedules, academic programming, and staff time. The team at Unlocking Time then provides school leaders with a personalized insights report about ways to be more flexible with time and fuel student-centered learning.
“Both learners and teachers need more time—not to do more of the same, but to use all time in new, different, and better ways. The key to liberating learning lies in unlocking time.”
“This is about grounding conversations about time and scheduling in evidence and examples, not just our opinions. We can see, for the first time, how well we’re aligning our use of time with our values and priorities.”