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New Class Schedule for 2017-2018

Your children continue to amaze us with their insatiable curiosity and intellectual creativity. It is our goal to provide an environment that inspires teaching and learning in a way that equips our students with essential skills that will serve them well throughout their academic journeys. We continually assess best practices to support student learning, including regular reviews of academic schedules. Thus we are instituting a new academic schedule for our Middle School and Upper School programs, which we will launch in the 2017-2018 school year.

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The process of refining our academic schedule has included much review and discussion, beginning in fall 2015, when a group of 21 faculty members and administrators worked with a school schedule consultant during a two-day workshop. We learned about many options for school schedules, established priorities and parameters for our own goals and needs, and focused our attention on making changes to support our school’s K-12 academic goals. Collectively, the changes we are making are based on improving our academic program by making better use of the time in each day and across the weeks of each semester.

Here are the key changes and benefits of the schedule for our academic day:

Eight blocks organized in a six-day cycle: This structure allows for greater flexibility, both in scheduling courses with fewer conflicts and in mapping the schedule out over each semester.

A hybrid of class lengths with three 50-minute and one 80-minute meeting in each cycle: This accommodates different academic department preferences, with the longer block intentionally planned to further support project-based learning and the skill development necessary to support our Capstone program.

An additional 80-minute block in each cycle: This provides extra time for work on Capstone projects for students in grades 8 and 12, and time for other programming (i.e., workshop).

An extended experiential learning block once a month: Faculty will engage students in learning opportunities such as field trips, activities, events, and guest presentations.

An aligned K-12 faculty meeting block once a month: Faculty will attend meetings, collaborate with their colleagues, and participate in ongoing professional development.

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