SAN FRANCISCO, July 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Abl, developer of the Master Scheduler platform, today announced the launch of an ambitious new project to help school leaders rethink and restructure one of their most valuable educational resources: time.
"The way schools allocate time and resources provides the foundation for all initiatives and programs to have a transformative impact, but most schools are still structuring their days, weeks, and years in the same ways they have for decades," says Bob Lenz of the Buck Institute for Education, a nonprofit supporting implementation of project based learning models. "Unlocking Time is about laying the groundwork for change--creating the conditions to implement, evolve, and amplify innovative practices, like project based learning, that enable new and deeper learning."
UnlockingTime.org will serve as a hub for free online tools and resources for everything related to time in schools, including a visual encyclopedia of bell schedules, case studies from schools across the country, and practical strategies for implementation. The cornerstone of the site is the School Time Assessment--a survey tool for principals and staff to assess how their school uses time today, spark dialogue about the alignment of time structures with school values and priorities, and explore new time strategies.
"Much of what shapes current time structures in schools are not rules or laws, but long-standing norms. Unlocking Time will enable school leaders to re-envision what's possible by showing how schools can more creatively leverage time to improve student outcomes," says Crystal Harden, principal at Green Street Academy in West Baltimore and a member of the Unlocking Time project's Advisory Board. "This is about bridging the massive gap between innovative ideas and the complexity of implementing those ideas within schools."
Data gathered from the project will be analyzed to better understand how schools across the nation structure their time, compare time strategies across similar schools and regions, and identify best practices from the field. Findings will be published in the form of a national Unlocking Time Report, designed to surface insights, offer a practical guide for K12 leaders working to restructure school time, and build the foundation for a larger movement toward agile, responsive schools. The Unlocking Time project, which brings together practitioners and organizations, is supported by a $2.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"We are building a network of school partners, practitioners, and experts to identify the challenges and opportunities surrounding time in schools today," says Abl CEO and Founder Adam Pisoni. "Unlocking Time will help school leaders understand their power to influence and evolve time structures to create the conditions for sustainable improvement. We hope this project sparks a deeper national dialogue that challenges long-held beliefs about how school time is structured."
Secondary schools serving high-need students can apply for Abl's Master Scheduler technology at a rate subsidized by the Unlocking Time project grant. Participating schools receive training and coaching from a team of education consultants with deep expertise in master scheduling and school design.
About Unlocking Time
Unlocking Time helps K12 schools adopt new time strategies that fuel student-centered learning. Launched with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the free online tools and resources at UnlockingTime.org serve as a hub for everything related to time in schools. This includes a School Time Assessment that provides school teams with key insights on how time is organized at their schools and sparks a rich dialogue around the unique needs of their communities. Led by the Impact team at Abl, the project brings together a coalition of education organizations who share the belief that re-imagining school time is critical to meet the needs of our students. For more information, visit UnlockingTime.org.
Developed through a collaborative process with school leaders, Abl is on a mission to transform master scheduling into a smart, collaborative process that enables school leaders to quickly visualize tradeoffs and meet the needs of every student and teacher. Our dynamic school scheduling platform makes it easy to design and manage the daily life of a school through a simple, cloud-based system that eliminates the spreadsheets, magnet boards, and calendaring tools most schools use today. For more information, visit www.ablschools.com.