WS/FCS Proposed Bell Schedule Changes for 2022-2023
Keeping students in mind, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is actively working with principals, staff, parents, and community members, to consider changes to the current bell schedule. Currently there is a large variation of bell schedules across the district. By changing the bell schedule, it will allow the district to add some much-needed instructional time to the school day and normalize district scheduling. It will also:
- Normalize schedules so students across the district are afforded the same amount of instructional time regardless of their school
- Allow for more teacher professional/planning days
- Allow for more flexibility in school day class scheduling
- Allow for more flexibility in meeting state instructional hour requirements
- Streamline transportation for improved efficiency.
Currently, WS/FCS has some of the shortest middle and high school instructional days among the state's largest districts. The proposal includes aligning all elementary, middle, and high school times, and extending some school days anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. The start and end of school times may not be impacted in all cases. This is not meant to, and should not, lengthen the workday for teachers. Currently, the WS/FCS Board of Education Administrative Regulation 4115.1 says the standard workday for teachers is a minimum of 7 hours and 45 minutes, but some duties can cause that to be slightly longer. District leaders will make every effort to protect daily planning time and duty-free lunch time.
Bell Schedule Committee Goals
In February, WS/FCS put together a committee to begin examining a new bell schedule for the district.
These goals are central to the committee's work:
- Change as little as possible so as to minimize disruptions to staff, family, and community schedules
- Provide small amounts of additional instructional time over the entire year in order to add much needed additional professional and planning days
- Streamline and protect instructional time across the district
- Provide additional instructional time for Inspire340 schools
- Review and improve the current tiered system of transportation
- Ensure safe and on-time transportation
- Improve transportation efficiency
Bell Schedule Evaluation Process Workflow
- Begin informational meetings with principals, staff, community, and parents
- Discuss the need and desires
- Dicuss improvements to calendar flexibility
- Discuss potential improvements to the model of transportation