No Bells, No Problem: Flexible Scheduling in Support of Personalization and Transformation

Saturday, April 4th, 11:15am -12:30pm - Session II

Traditional school structures, such as rigid bell schedules, are often far more of a hindrance to personalized learning, student autonomy, and learner agency than schools realize. This session will be a deep-dive into re-imagining the school day around the needs of students and the creativity of teachers. Can you really get rid of bells and rigid class period schedules? Can students really be trusted with ownership over their learning day and schedule? How do teachers like setting up their own teaching schedule? Learn from one high school’s experience jumping bravely into a world without bells. Spoiler alert: The experience has been awesome.

Shane Heilman
Shane Heilman has been the principal at Rapid City High School, an alternative high school in Rapid City, SD, for the past four years. In those four years, he has led Rapid City High School’s transformation from a high school with traditional teaching methods, traditional discipline methods, and a traditional bell schedule to a personalized, flex-blended learning environment in a no-bell schedule that uses whole-child practices rooted in trauma-informed care and restorative justice. These changes have thus far resulted in an 80% reduction in disciplinary issues and arrests, a 98% reduction in out-of-school suspensions, and a 30% reduction in dropouts in a school with a 50% minority (American Indian) population. He previously taught English for eight years at Lennox High School, where he was Teacher of the Year in 2012.