Creating a Master Schedule that Supports Inclusive Practices

Creating a Master Schedule that Supports Inclusive Practices, an article from the May/June 2012 edition of Link Lines, provides steps for ensuring that the master schedule supports inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms.  This article includes detailed tips for balancing class rosters.

Data-Based Decision Making

Data is a term frequently used in education. The terms data-based decision making and data-driven decision making are also often used. But what is data and what decisions are driven by this data? Merriam-Webster (2015) defines data as “facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something”.   The key to using data wisely is to identify the “something” that will be analyzed or planned before actually starting to gather the data.

Schools make many decisions that require analysis of high-quality, rich data. Such decisions inform strategic planning, school zoning, resource allocation, teacher assignment, and instructional practices. According to Earl and Katz (2006),

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Master Scheduling for Student Success

A school’s master schedule provides valuable information about teacher schedules, course offerings, and class locations. At the same time, a master schedule also reveals much about a school’s culture, priorities, and beliefs. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP, 2011) noted that a school’s master schedule “is like looking at an MRI of the inner workings of a school. It is the window to the soul of the school” (para. 3). Similarly, Crawford (2008) observed that “if you want to get a window into a school’s core values and identify competing goals, look at how schools allocate and use time” (p. 252). How can a school create a master schedule that reflects its inclusive values and priorities?

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