Make Every Minute Count

Successfully expanding learning time means carefully planning all time with students - not just programming additional hours or days. Before adding more time, administrators and teachers must be single-minded in their efforts to conserve and optimize the time they have with students. At successful expanded-time schools, leaders create a sense of urgency, messaging to all members of the school community the need to maximize time for learning and eliminate unproductive time in the schedule. Learning begins as soon as students walk into the classroom and lessons are carefully planned to keep students engaged and attentive throughout the day. School leaders and teachers also work to minimize disruptions such as frequent locker breaks, transitions between classes, and lengthy dismissal procedures.

Related Resources

Classroom Time Analysis Tool
Web-based Tool

School Time Analysis Tool
Web-based Tool

Promising Practice 1

In this chapter of Time Well Spent, read about how successful, expanded-time schools make every minute count by maximizing time on task and minimizing non-instructional time.
North Star Academy, Newark, NJ

Teachers at North Star plan for every minute of their 60-minute periods. Read about how their detailed lesson plans maximizes time on task, and the support they receive from the school’s leaders to make the most of the school’s expanded day.
Aspire Port City Academy, Stockton, CA

Teachers and administrators at Aspire Port City intentionally develop and teach protocols to minimize non-instructional time. Teachers also use a detailed lesson plan template to plan for each instructional minute to maximize instructional time.
Excel Academy Charter School, Boston, MA

Every day, instructional minutes are lost on activities such as transitions, breaks, and checking homework. Read about how Excel develops and teaches routines to minimize lost instructional time, allowing their students to benefit most from an expanded school day.