CSF 4: Increase Learning Time

Research promotes a three-pronged approached to increased Learning Time that includes the following elements: (a) increased academic learning time; (b) increased enrichment activities; (c) and increased teacher collaboration and professional development. Increased learning time necessitates strategies that maximize the number of sustained, engaging instructional minutes, the result of which is “higher academic achievement, especially for disadvantaged students” (Jez and Wassmer 2011; Gettinger & Seibert 2002). To be utilized successfully, increased learning time must be applied strategically.

Effective strategies include providing a rigorous, well-rounded education that prepares students for college, improving teacher training, improving and aligning the curriculum, reducing distractions, year-round schedules, block scheduling, using the time for teachers to thoroughly analyze and respond to data, and setting aside time to coach and develop teachers in ways that continuously strengthen their instructional practices (Chalk Board Project, 2008; Kaplan & Chan, 2011).

Supporting Components

Key strategies establish the foundation for each Critical Success Factor. The activities supporting each CSF must be thoughtfully developed by stakeholders to ensure each campus initiative is successful. The strategies noted here, when implemented correctly, can support the development of each Critical Success Factor. While the following is not a definitive list, the evidence-based components provided here are proven to show a high rate of success.

  • Increased Opportunities for Input
  • Effective Communication
  • Accessible Community Services

ESEA Turnaround Principle: Redesigned School Calendar

Redesigning the school day, week, or year to include time for student learning and teacher collaboration


Web pages


  • Getting to Work on Summer Learning
    This article explores key questions that must be answered when planning an extensive summer instructional program.  The answers to these questions are based on the study of six full-day summer programs that were offered for 5 – 6 weeks free of charge to elementary students.
  • The Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle: Introduction (2nd edition)
    This article introduces the six steps of the professional teaching and learning cycle (PTLC) that promotes school improvement through professional growth and collaboration among teachers.
  • Learning Time in America
    This article provides a snapshot of learning time across the 50 states. It includes federal legislation, current learning time, and examples of innovative efforts, cost-effective strategies, and recommendations.
  • Time-It’s Not Always Money
    This article identifies cost-effective ways to extend learning time. It looks at current costs of extended time, and asks leaders to consider the following options: flexible schedules where teachers have staggered start and end times, partnering with community, higher education, and other organizations to defer costs, and using software to enhance current instruction and allow students to work at the appropriate level and pace.


  • Impact Teaching: Ideas and Strategies for Teachers to Maximize Student Learning – Richard Howell Allen
  • Green Light Classrooms: Teaching Techniques That Accelerate Learning – Richard (Rich) Allen
  • Sparking Student Synapses 9 – 12: Think Critically and Accelerate Learning – Rich Allen and Nigel Scozzi
  • U-Turn Teaching: Strategies to Accelerate Learning and Transform Middle School Achievement – Rich Allen and Jenn Currie
  • The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction – Sean Cain