The Bozeman Education Association has received a $97,750 grant to assess how the Bozeman School District can improve scheduling efficiency in its elementary schools.

The BEA, an affiliate of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, will use the grant, from the National Education Association, to hire a consultant and create an “Instructional Maximization, Planning for Achievement, Creative Time (IMPACT) Team.” It will examine time use and scheduling in Bozeman classrooms from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Tami Phillipi, BEA president, said the organization learned teachers were having trouble finding adequate time to plan lessons, prep for classes and collaborate with colleagues. She said the hope is the IMPACT Team and consultant will find ways to improve scheduling.

The BEA will work with the school district to carry out the assessment.

Bozeman Superintendent Bob Connors said elementary schools have been overwhelmed with new national education standards. He said the upcoming assessment will look at how much time teachers spend on each discipline and where changes can be made.

Connors said the process will take most of the school year, but the findings could be implemented by next fall. He said Bozeman will be one of the first school districts in the state to look at this issue.

“It’s exciting to be out front of something like this,” Connors said.

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