• Options to Consider for

    Elementary Planning Time/Educational Opportunities

    At the start of the 2014-2015 school year teachers in grades K-6 will be provided planning time that is equitable to that of teachers in grades 7-12. This would be an increase of approximately ten minutes per day for grades K-4 and five minutes per day for grades 5-6. 

    The Bainbridge Island Education Association (BIEA) and the Bainbridge Island School District (BISD) agreed this increase was needed due to the complex nature of teaching elementary students multiple subjects (reading, writing, math, social studies, science, etc.), along with the increased emphasis on ensuring that every student is meeting grade-level expectations. We also agreed that increasing the planning time could enhance the quality of teaching and learning in these grade levels.  

    It is important to note that in the 2014-15 school year the overall instructional time for elementary students will remain the same as the 2013-14 school year. What will change is how the instructional time will be allocated. Specifically, there will be less time in the general education teacher’s classroom, but that time will be shifted to another teacher or specialist. For the 2014-15 school -year, there will be a 30 hour shift at the K-4 level, and a 15 hour shift at the 5-6 level. While the loss of instructional time in the general education classroom is concerning, it also provides an educational opportunity. Two key questions that can frame the educational opportunities are: 


    1.  How can students benefit from a change in this 30 hours (grades K-4) or 15 hours (grades 5-6) per year of instructional time that will be provided in an alternative model to the existing format? 
    2. What content and curriculum should fill this time?


    School Board Review and Decision Process:
    • March 27, 2014  presentation of the two options described below in more detail, and to allow the school board members to ask clarifying questions. No decisions were made at this study session.
    •  April 10, 2014, there was another brief presentation on this topic, as well as an opportunity for public statements related to this topic.
    • April 24, 2014 the school board will make a final determination on  which model will best meet the needs of students, staff and parents.

    Board PowerPoint April 10, 2014

    If you would like to provide input to the Board of Directors, please send your comments to KRoberts@bisd303.org.


    The chart below describes two models that were considered by the task force. The task force also identified the potential impacts on students, general education teachers, and specialist teachers in both models. The 5th and 6th grade model would be similar to the below chart, but with fewer minutes added based on the need to add an additional 15 hours rather than 30 hours. 



    Option 1

    Option 2


    Increase current specialist time by 10 minutes in art, library, music and PE.

    Create a new curriculum for students. Hire a new specialist teacher(s) that could provide two 25-minute sessions per week or one 50-minute session (depending on the content).

    Impact on students

    ·         Will provide additional instruction time in the areas of art, library, music, PE.

    ·         Less instructional time in subjects of math, science, reading, writing, social studies, and health.

    ·         Students will have the same number of transitions during the day as in the current model.


    ·         Adds one additional content area.

    ·         Potential replacement of content (reading, writing, math, science, social studies and health) with other or related  content (science or STEM, world language, Computer lab time).

    ·         Possibly more transitions than option 1.


    Impact on general education teachers

    ·         Fewer minutes of content time (approximately 50 minutes per week, 30 hours per year).

    ·         Maintains current number of transitions.

    ·         More planning time.

    ·         Additional recess coverage may be needed.

    ·         Possibly more transitions

    ·         Fewer minutes of content time for (reading, writing, math, science, social studies and health) instruction

    ·         More planning time.

    ·         Recess schedule not impacted.

    Impact on specialist teachers

    ·         Possibly less passing time between classes (from 5 to 3 minutes)

    ·         Less time to interface with building teachers.

    ·        Possibly no AM or PM break (unlike other staff)

    ·         Adds “new” specialist

    ·         Specialists won’t have time to interface with teachers

    ·         Recess schedule is not impacted


    Approximately $120,000 to 152,000 for increased staffing

    Approximately $190,000 to 227,000 for increased staffing

    Question & Answers
    Below are a few additional questions that have been raised by various school board members related to the topic of elementary planning implementation. 

    Question: Instead of adding additional staffing during the day to cover the expansion of elementary planning time, why does the district not pay elementary teachers an additional 50 minutes per week, so teachers can do their planning before or after students are at school?

    Answer: This was not negotiated at the time because there was concern about creating inequity in pay among different groups of teachers. Extending the work hours for some elementary teachers could also potentially impact the length of the work day for some non-teachers as well. 

    Question: Why is the current model based on a twelve day rotation model?

    Answer:   The model is based on having four different content area specialists (PE, music, art and library) and the requirements of providing more instructional time in PE. 

    Current Specialist schedule



    Approximate minutes per 12 day rotation based on 40 minutes of instruction per slot.

















    Question: How much additional instructional time will students receive in option 1, in each of the current subjects?



    Approximate Additional Time


    10 hours


    7.5 hours


    7.5 hours


    5 hours


    30 hours