# Bell Schedule Developing the school bell schedule can

• Slides: 22

Bell Schedule Developing the school bell schedule can be a very complex task especially when incorporating shortened days for staff development, assembly schedules, rotating schedules, block schedules, mandated testing schedules and final exam schedules while at the same time keeping track of the total instructional minutes to meet state and contractual requirements. This tool is an Excel spreadsheet, with the capacity to accommodate up to an 11 period day, that automates the counting of the number of instructional minutes and days in the school year. This allows you to be as creative as you want and experiment with multiple bell schedules until you find the perfect one. The formulas used in this spreadsheet are locked so you are not able to accidentally delete them, but they are visible so you are able to learn how the spreadsheet works. Note: This Power. Point is best viewed as a slide show so animations work properly.

When you first open the Bell Schedule spreadsheet it will look like this. You will see the “Count Balance” calculation area here.

In this spreadsheet, similar to other tools we have developed, cells highlighted in yellow indicate locations where you (the user) will input values. In the Count Balance calculation area, there are two values to enter: 1) The average instructional minutes per day needed to satisfy the yearly requirement. In the example below, 360 is entered. 2) The total required number of instructional minutes per year. In the example, 64, 800 is entered (a California requirement). Both of these values can be changed as needed.

The “TOTAL INSTRUCTIONAL DAYS” is a calculated value that is the total of the school days that have been entered in the bell schedules that you have created. In this example, a total of 180 days are in the bell schedule developed. The “INSTRUCTIONAL MINUTES IN THE SCHEDULE” is another calculated value that is the total of all instructional minutes from the bell schedules that you have created. In this example, a total of 64, 800 minutes are in the bell schedules. The “BALANCE” is calculated from the difference between the required instructional minutes per year the total number of instructional minutes in the bell schedules you have created. You will see how you enter values to develop a bell schedule and how the values you enter effect the instructional days and minutes in the following slides.

Getting Oriented This is a reduced view of the entire spreadsheet. You have already seen the “Count Balance” area. This 2 -column area is the Bell Schedule Component Label area. In this area you designate a name for each component of the bell schedule and list the duration in minutes of each component. The rest of the spreadsheet is composed of 18 individual bell schedule calculation areas. These bell schedules are identical in format.

Bell Schedule Component Label This 2 -column table is where you set the titles of the components of your bell schedule and designate the duration of each. There are 50 rows in this table so you have quite a bit of flexibility. As an example, you see in the table here that the length of the component labeled as “Exam Block 3” is 95 minutes in length. The minute length for the schedule components are entered in whole numbers. When you are working in one of the 18 bell schedule calculation areas, you will use these component titles and the minutes you designate will automatically be added to your bell schedule. You will see how this works in the next few slides.

The Bell Schedule Calculation Area Enter the starting time of school here Enter the number of school days you will be on this schedule here Enter the component titles down the PERIOD column The Bell Schedule Section: The bell schedule resulting from the component titles you enter appears here automatically

The Details of the Data Entry Section The Data Entry Section is where you tell the schedule the starting time of school and the number of days on this schedule. The starting time of school is entered using the 24 hour clock notation (for 8 AM enter 8: 00, for 1 PM enter 13: 00). No, I don’t know any school that starts in the afternoon, but just in case. The minute length for Days on this schedule are entered in whole numbers.

The Bell Schedule Section Before you enter values in the Data Entry Section, the Bell Schedule Section looks like this. After you enter values in the Data Entry Section, the Bell Schedule Section looks like this. The starting time of school appears here.

The Bell Schedule Section Entering the bell schedule in the “PERIOD” column For the calculations to work properly and recognize the values you placed in the Component Title Section, be sure to enter the component titles exactly as entered in the table beginning at cell B 3 (The Component Title Chart)

The Bell Schedule Section To begin developing your bell schedule, enter one of the component titles in the period column. Here the whole number 1 is entered. When this is done, the formula looks at the minute value you entered for “ 1” in the Component Title Chart and calculates the end time (9: 35 AM) and lists the number of minutes (80) of the bell schedule component.

The Bell Schedule Section Here, PASSING is entered as the next bell schedule component. The formula looks to the value you placed in the Component Chart for the Passing Period Length and calculates the end time for the period and lists the number of minutes. Continue filling out the bell schedule period components until you have finished your bell schedule.

The Bell Schedule Section – Instructional Minutes This is an example of a completed 6 -period bell schedule. Note the column on the right. In counting “Instructional” minutes, not all times during the day qualify. A zero period may not count if a certain percentage of your students don’t participate. Lunch and Breaks for snacks usually don’t count. An “Assembly” may count, but a “Rally” may not. In order for this program to correctly count the instructional minutes, place an “X” (without the quote marks) in the “Count as Inst Min” column aligned with the bell schedule component rows that qualify as “Instructional” minutes.

The Bell Schedule Section – Period Time Adjustments Sometimes you may wish to have some periods in the day deviate from the allotment of time you entered in the Component Chart. This can be accomplished through the use of the Change Minutes columns. In this example, the number 9 is placed in the Change End Time for period 1. The effect of this is to increase the length of period 1 by 9 minutes to 64 minutes. All other times automatically adjust to accommodate for this change. Time can be subtracted from a period component by using negative numbers. A -9 is placed in the Change End time for period 6 in this example causing a reduction in the period length.

The Bell Schedule Section – Period Time Adjustments On the previous page, we changed the time at the end of the period. In this example, the time is changed at the beginning of the period. One use of the Change Start Time column is shown here where Passing periods are not shown and the passing time is added to the beginning of each period. The second example here shows how to enter for a double lunch where one group of students goes from 3 rd Hour to lunch and another group of students goes from 3 rd Hour to 4 th Hour and then lunch.

Instructional Day and Minute Summary Back up at the top of the spreadsheet is the summary of the total instructional days and minutes. So far we have only used one of the 18 bell schedule templates. If more templates are used, the sum of the total instructional days and minutes from all bell schedule templates is shown here. Total Days Total Minutes Here we have a total of 180 instructional days and 64, 800 instructional minutes with a instructional balance of zero (0). As a convenience, this information is duplicated directly below each of the 18 bell schedule templates along with the instructional minute total for individual bell schedule template and the difference between this total and the average daily total.

Working with Multiple Bell Schedule Templates So far, we have only used one of the 18 bell schedule templates. Typically in schools, there will be more than one schedule: the “normal” bell schedule, a testing schedule, an assembly schedule, maybe even an early release schedule. Each one of these schedules would be entered on a separate bell schedule template with the appropriate number of school days on each schedule. Again, the total instructional school days and instructional minutes are combined from each bell schedule template so you can be sure to have the correct number of days and minutes. What follows is an example of the use of multiple bell schedule templates.

Here we use two bell schedule templates to create a bell schedule system to “Bank” extra minutes on Schedule 1 and spend them on Schedule 2. We take a closer look on the next pages.

In Bell Schedule 1 we have an 80 minute instructional period length, 5 minute passing, 40 minute lunch and we are on this schedule for 133 days. We utilized the Change Minute column to increase the length of 1 st period and we decreased the length of the Advisory period. At the bottom below the bell schedule you see that there a total of 395 instructional minutes in this bell schedule which in this example is 35 minutes over the average of 360 instructional minutes per day. This is a “Banking Minutes” bell schedule. Let’s take a look at Bell Schedule 2 on the next page.

Here in Bell Schedule 2 we “Spend” the minutes. The Instructional period length is 61 minutes, passing is 5 minutes, lunch is 40 minutes and the school will use this bell schedule for 47 days. You can also adjust the starting time of school such that you can have a Late-Start day (See the next page). Below the Bell Schedule you see in the summary that this schedule only has 269 instructional minutes, so you are “Spending” the extra minutes you “Banked” in Bell Schedule 1. Also notice that with the combination of Bell Schedule 1 and Bell Schedule 2, the Total Instructional Minutes for the full year (180 days in this example) is 65, 178. This exceeds the required number of instructional minutes by 378 minutes.

Here is the example of the Late. Start schedule. The only things changed on this bell schedule compared to Bell Schedule 2 on the previous page are the Starting time of school and the placement of Lunch. When the starting time was changed, all times in the bell schedule chart adjusted automatically. Make sure the “Count as Inst Min” column is correct when you rearrange the bell schedule. By adjusting the start times, bell schedule component minute lengths and days on each schedule, you will be able to create your perfect set of schedules.

You now have a working understanding of how to use the Bell Schedule spreadsheet. If you have questions or suggestions for improvements, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you and happy scheduling!! Phil Saroyan jp [email protected] net The Bell Schedule spreadsheet and these instructions are provided to you at no cost by the College & Career Academy Support Network (CCASN) Since 1998 CCASN has been working to increase educational opportunities that offer each young person support and guidance, productive engagement in the world outside of school, and preparation for both college and careers. This research-based strategy has been effective for hundreds of thousands of teenagers, including low-income students of color. CCASN offers professional development, coaching, resource materials, and technical assistance for secondary educators, schools, and districts. Visit the CCASN web site at: http: //ccasn. berkeley. edu College & Career Academy Support Network (CCASN) University of California. Berkeley 1608 Tolman Hall Berkeley, CA 94720 -1670 Phone: 510 -643 -5748 FAX: 510 -642 -2124