Administration | News

Lake County School District Saves $1 Million, Adds a Week of Instruction Time by Adjusting Bells

Lake County Schools, a 42,000-student district in Central Florida, reports that it saved $1 million and added a week of instruction time to the school year by adjusting its bell schedules.

According to communications officer Christopher Patton, the district needed to add an hour per day of reading instruction as part of a new state requirement for schools with low reading assessment scores. Lake County enlisted the help of Amplify School by Design (SxD), a software and consulting service designed to increase school efficiency and quality, which determined that the district could add instructional time by shifting the first and last bells of the day.

Because the district did not need to add resources to meet the state requirement, Patton said the district saved $1 million. He explained, “The teachers are still in school the same amount of time, but just spending more of that time in the classroom than out of the classroom.” Patton calculated that the changes meant “almost an entire extra week of instruction time over the course of the year.”

Only three Lake County schools were required to add the instructional time, but the district decided to standardize the bell schedule across all of its 45 schools, following the recommendations of SxD. Patton said, “Students at one school weren’t getting the same amount of instruction time as another. When your students aren’t all getting the same quality of education, that’s obviously troubling, and it’s something we wanted to address.”

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.

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