Subject: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Details: 17 high schools, each with an average of 750 students enrolled
Situation: The high school populations within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have varied and diverse academic interests. Students attend for the tradition of Catholic teaching and the advanced classes so often needed when a high percentage of graduates are bound for college. The Assistant Principal at each school is responsible for building the master schedule.
In the past, it could take an administrator all summer, sometimes eight to ten weeks, to build a master schedule on a magnet board. In a worse situation, it could take all summer for an administrator to try to re-use a schedule built years earlier for a different student population. New course demands and changing resources makes the latter a difficult task by requiring much hand-scheduling with limited choices. In the end, students lose their motivation when they are not scheduled for the classes that interest them the most. Academic success is further diminished when a schedule omits classes that could advance a student’s knowledge in areas where they are capable of excelling.
The Archdiocese needed a tool to build the master schedule against the current student body and resources – a tool that would align requests with the magnet board in a timely manner. The responsibilities of school administrators go far beyond building a master schedule. Reclaiming any amount of their time increases an administrator’s productivity and effectiveness in the school.
Since 1978, Computer Resources has been exposed to countless educational philosophies expressed in master schedules from across the country. Their Automated Schedule Builder can accommodate desired teacher-to-student ratios, varied class lengths and meeting days within schedule cycles, classes distributed throughout each day that maximize a student’s attention span, short exploratory class offerings designed to excite the minds of younger students, and more.
With student course demands, the school administrator can build their first master schedule in minutes, analyze the results, and adjust the defining rules of available resources and meeting preferences between each run. This may be done dozens of times while perfecting portions of the schedule before ultimately accepting it. The Automated Schedule Builder pays unique attention to a sequence and priority of the number of sections dictated by course demand and preferred class sizes while assigning teachers and rooms.
What would take an administrator all summer to complete in the past can now be accomplished within days using the Automated Schedule Builder. For the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, this valuable time has been reclaimed each and every summer since 2007.