Changing Paradigms, Changing Schedules—Hints on How to Make Change Happen

Status: RECORDED on MAY 11, 2016

$156 Non-Member

[$143.00 Gold Member]

Every school is trying to figure out how to educate children given the huge paradigm shifts happening in education. The students are different, the tools we use in the classroom are different, the expected student-outcomes are different, and even the very notion of “knowledge” is different. However, big changes in education, happen infrequently. Perhaps the last major paradigm shift was over a century ago with the invention of the Carnegie Unit, and because none of us were teaching at that time, there is no playbook for how to change with changing education paradigms. One thing is for certain, big shifts change the very structure of the education experience. Can your schedule accommodate those structural changes?

For example, with the proliferation of the definition of credit in the Carnegie unit system, came the traditional schedule of 40 minute periods over the course of 180 days (netting 120 hours of instruction and equaling 1.0 credits in the Carnegie system). A great many schools are still using a traditional schedule (with small variations) and defend its use by saying “it has served students well in the past, so if it ain’t broke...” Many other schools are finding the traditional deployment of time, people, space and program—a.k.a the school’s schedule, is incapable of supporting the kinds teaching and learning that schools want to employ in order to address these differences.

The problem is, schools don’t know how to invite the culture to come along. It can be difficult to navigate the path from the school’s extant education model to something new. This goal of this webinar is to help you answer some of the following questions:

  • How do I formulate a path to meet this new reality?
  • Who should be involved with developing the “vision”?
  • How do I get faculty to not just buy-in, but get them to drive the changes?
  • When will we have the time to invest in change, given we are already stretched thin?
  • Do I need to change the approach to education first and then our schedule or the other way around?
  • How will this be perceived the marketplace? Or at college admission offices?
  • How can I get parents on board, knowing they do not want schools to “experiment on my child!”

Run Time: Total run time is 60 minutes. The presentation will run approximately 45 minutes with 15 minutes designated for Q&A.

Who Should Attend:
All school leaders particularly Heads of School, Assistant Heads, and Division Heads

staff photo bryan smyth

Bryan Smyth, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant | Director of Research


Bryan’s central purpose is to help students flourish. He believes that the enhancement of school environments and cultures is the best way to facilitate growth in children and adults.

Current Role

As a Consultant and ISM’s Director of Research, Bryan:

  • Oversees ISM’s research initiatives
  • Provides on-site scheduling consultations, having had extensive experience creating and implementing unique daily schedules and annual calendars for both boarding and day schools.
  • Leads scheduling-focused workshops and webinars

Bryan joined ISM as a Consultant in 2013, following 13 years in independent school administration.

Prior Experience

Bryan came to ISM from Mount Pisgah Christian School, GA, where he served as the Vice President, Head of the Upper School, Guidance and College Advisement Director, varsity head coach, and psychology teacher over the course of his tenure. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head of School at Brandon Hall, GA.

He is also a licensed clinical psychologist whose practice specialized in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and their families. This varied background and set of experiences affords him the ability to view a school’s form and function from multiple viewpoints, leading to solutions that take into account all perspectives.


Bryan holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from Reinhardt University, GA, that focused on the application of business principles to the management of independent schools.

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What is the difference between single-topic Webinars, Webinar clusters, and Webinar courses?

Single-topic Webinars: These are basic, 60-minute Webinars (typically 45 minutes long with a 15 minute Q&A session), covering various timely concerns and/or situations. Our calendar is updated monthly, and sometimes weekly, as these sessions are designed to tackle a current need within the private-independent school world.

Webinar clusters: These are Webinar sessions covering one topic, but divided into multiple sessions over several days so that the topic can be explored in more detail without overwhelming the attendees. They are designed both for timely topics, such as an update on recent federal laws, and for more general concerns, such as designing your employee medical package to meet both your budget goals and your school’s unique culture.

Webinar courses: These Webinars are designed to function as an ISM workshop but are done remotely. Since they are remote you will not need to travel and incur additional expenses due to that travel. Webinar courses are broken into smaller segments than typical on-site workshops so you won't need to sit in front of your computer for days on end. In fact, Webinar courses can extend over months giving you time to work on projects that a workshop leader may require.

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