Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2013


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

ETM 540


A local charter school in Portland, Oregon, is experiencing staffing issues relative to teacher scheduling while maintaining optimal classroom size. The student population at the charter school has been growing over the last few years, and with increased classroom size there is a need to optimize scheduling to minimize the cost to operating the school. The charter school was informally founded by parent volunteers in 1974 and became a 501(c)(3) in 1994. Its mission is “To enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education.” Operating as an academic institution, the charter school additionally offers a variety of social services outside of education to the community. These services support topics of domestic violence, housing, and employment, to name a few. The key problem that this work is to address is that the school is experiencing staff scheduling while maintaining an optimal classroom size that supports the mission of the organization. The problem is compounded due to the increase in student population which has been expanding in recent years. The current scheduling tool is done manually and is labor intensive to implement. There is a lot of trial and error when creating the master class schedule, as well as teacher and room availability. The charter school aims to balance out the type and level of a class when building the schedule. Individual student schedules are created based on their needs. A student advisor reviews their transcripts to determine what credits they have completed, and creates a schedule based on their needs to obtain a high school diploma. If a student has goals to pursue higher education, those are taken into consideration as well when creating their schedule. This individualized approach to scheduling students into classes is one of the reasons why existing class scheduling programs used by the local school district does not work for the charter school. The research objectives of this paper looks to develop a model to assist with teacher and student scheduling. The model developed and research results are expected to act as a pilot program for the charter school and could be implemented at other charter schools as well.


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