A Scheduling Map for Educators to Plan the Who, What, When, Where, and How of Learning this Fall


This article originally appeared in Getting Smart on June 24, 2020.

Educators across the country are starting to think about what it might look like to reopen school doors this fall: How will we keep children, teachers, and families safe and healthy? What will classrooms look like given the constraints of social distancing and the potential for limited in-person learning time? What will happen if teachers and staff members decide it’s too risky to return? And how can we ensure that learning happens—and that kids’ social-emotional needs are met—given that many students will have experienced trauma, not to mention academic setbacks, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and remote learning?

These are just some of the questions educators are trying to answer as they create staffing and scheduling plans for the 2020-21 academic year.

With support from InnovateEDUBrooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools (Brooklyn Lab) created our Back to School Instructional Program Scheduling Map to begin to answer these questions for our school community. The process of matching instructional spaces, instructional groupings of scholars, teams of educators, and service demands in an era of social distancing and COVID-19 is daunting, and our scheduling map takes into account new health and safety requirements. Our aim is to provide a framework to support clear communication between administrators, educators, families, and scholars so that our school community can work collaboratively and inclusively to promote safety, health, well-being, and learning when our school reopens this fall.

This map builds on Brooklyn Lab’s Version 1 Back to Facilities Tool Kit, which focuses on school facilities solutions to accommodate social distancing and health requirements. To create the map, Brooklyn Lab and InnovateEDU led a two-week design “charrette” with several partners: DezudioPBDW ArchitectsEdTogetherthe National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS)Public ImpactTNTP, and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. 

​In this article, we are sharing the three steps we followed in the hopes that other school and system leaders can adapt this approach to begin to map their own staffing and scheduling solutions.

An Iterative Design Project of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools