Frequently Asked Questions

Academic

Q

How is this schedule better for learning?

A

The longer class periods allow for more effective, efficient and creative instruction. Lessons that previously were split over multiple class periods can now be completed in one class session. Teachers can incorporate more variety into their lessons, as the longer periods give them more flexibility in managing their class time.

Q

Is this schedule appropriate for high school students?

A

Extended periods are not new to high schools. Many other high schools use similar schedules, and their students are quite successful with them.

Q

Will students have less instructional time?

A

On our current rotating schedule, a class will meet 432 minutes in a two-week period. On our new schedule, the same class will meet 415 minutes in a two-week period, a reduction of 17 minutes every two weeks. However, for planning purposes, approximately five minutes of each class period is invested into housekeeping duties (roll, returning papers, setting up, cleaning up, etc.). By reducing the number of class sessions from eight to five in a two-week period, the net amount of effective instructional time is the same.

Q

How is this schedule different from a block schedule?

A

A block schedule specifically refers to a schedule in which students only take three or four classes at a time, with each class meeting for approximately 80 - 90 minutes each day, every day. At the end of a traditional high school semester, students will have completed the equivalent of a year's instruction in those classes, and will then take a new set of three or four classes during the next semester. Block schedules have proven to be a poor idea for many high school classes, due to the loss of continuity from one year to the next. While our schedule does involve periods of similar length to a block schedule, the fact that our classes meet all year long makes it much more similar to our rotating schedule than a block schedule.

Q

How will the tutorial program work?

A

Since approximately half our students will not be taking the first class of each day, approximately half our faculty will not be teaching a class at the same time. As a result, each major academic department will establish a tutorial center that will be open every morning, staffed by our teachers.

Q

If students come early and have an open class, what will they do?

A

Students who come early on days that they do not have 7:40 am class have a few options. They may go to a tutorial center, they may go to the library (if it is not in use by a class), or they may stay in the mall area. The food windows will be open throughout the period.

Q

Can a student go to two different tutorials in the same morning?

A

Yes. Students are free to come and go from the tutorials.

Q

Is it a good idea to take an 8th class to get ahead academically?

A

As a general rule, we do not recommend a student take an 8th academic class. A 7-period schedule is already a full load for students, and we do not advise students to take more. An 8th class may be appropriate to help a student who is repeating a class or who would like to take additional performing arts classes. Any student who wants to take an 8th academic class should only do so after consultation with a counselor.

Q

Can students only choose from a small list of available 8th classes?

A

Students may take any class we offer as an 8th class. We have no classes that are only available as an 8th class.

Q

If a student is having trouble concentrating in a 54-minute class, how could an 85-minute class be better?

A

All our faculty will receive specific instruction on using a variety of teaching approaches during an 85-minute lesson period. Our expectation is that students will experience multiple instructional techniques each class.

Q

Will students have more homework? Less homework?

A

Students should have a comparable amount of homework as they have now. They may have more homework due for a class on a given day than before, but that is balanced by the smaller number of class periods. Our current school policy is that students should have an average of approximately 2.5 hours of homework per class per week. On our new schedule, we will expect students to have an average of approximately 5 hours of homework per class per every two weeks, resulting in the same average amount of homework time. Please be aware the some AP classes may involve higher homework loads than the school average.

Q

Can every senior have two open periods?

A

We recommend that seniors take a full 7-period schedule. However, we do allow seniors to take a 6-period schedule, if it will not interfere with their ability to graduate. Seniors who choose to take a 6-period schedule will have two open periods, and they may schedule those periods to be at the beginning of each day or to be at the end of each day. Please note that seniors involved in after school activities (sports, spring musical, etc.) may not take an open period at the end of the day for the duration of their activity.

Logistics

Q

How is this schedule different from a block schedule?

A

A block schedule specifically refers to a schedule in which students only take three or four classes at a time, with each class meeting for approximately 80 - 90 minutes each day, every day. At the end of a traditional high school semester, students will have completed the equivalent of a year's instruction in those classes, and will then take a new set of three or four classes during the next semester. Block schedules have proven to be a poor idea for many high school classes, due to the loss of continuity from one year to the next. While our schedule does involve periods of similar length to a block schedule, the fact that our classes meet all year long makes it much more similar to our rotating schedule than a block schedule.

Q

Do some students have A Day schedules and some have B Day schedules?

A

No. Students will each have seven classes. The only difference between students' schedules will be if they have an open period 1 or an open period 2. On A Days at school, all students attend periods 1, 3, 5, and 7. Students with an open period 1 do not have class until period 3. Similarly, on B Days at school, all students attend periods 2, 4, 6, and 8. Students with an open period 2 do not have class until period 4.

Q

Are there any other schedules besides the Standard A/B and Chapel Days?

A

We will also have a rally schedule and a long assembly schedule, as well as a minimum day. See all our detailed schedules

Q

What impact do 3-day weekends have on this schedule?

A

Short-week schedules have less an impact on this schedule than our current rotating schedule. For example, on a four-day week, we would simply have two A Days and two B Days, allowing all classes to have equal instruction time.

Q

Can students adjust which day they have the open morning period to coordinate carpooling?

A

Yes.

Q

What impact will this have on students who take the bus in the morning?

A

The bus schedule will shift 10 minutes earlier to accommodate the earlier start time, but will otherwise remain unchanged.

Q

Can students have the open period at the end of the day?

A

Generally no. Only seniors who are taking a 6-period day may choose to put their open periods at the end of the day.

Q

Can every senior have two open periods?

A

We recommend that seniors take a full 7-period schedule. However, we do allow seniors to take a 6-period schedule, if it will not interfere with their ability to graduate. Seniors who choose to take a 6-period schedule will have two open periods, and they may schedule those periods to be at the beginning of each day or to be at the end of each day. Please note that seniors involved in after school activities (sports, spring musical, etc.) may not take an open period at the end of the day for the duration of their activity.

Q

If students come early and have an open class, what will they do?

A

Students who come early on days that they do not have 7:40 am class have a few options. They may go to a tutorial center, they may go to the library (if it is not in use by a class), or they may stay in the mall area. The food windows will be open throughout the period.

Q

What impact will this have on the junior high schedule?

A

Negligible. The junior high is continuing with its rotating schedule. The only significant difference to the junior high schedule is that it is starting 10 minutes earlier, and its periods are being lengthened to 55 minutes from 54 minutes.

Q

Will HS and JH students be out of class at the same time during the middle of the school day?

A

Generally no. During standard HS A and B Days, the JH and HS students will never both be out of class at the same time. On HS Chapel Days and other special schedule days, the JH will have a 5-minute passing period during the HS lunch. Otherwise, there will be no overlap during the day of HS and JH schedules.

Q

With longer classroom periods, will students have time to use restrooms or go to lockers between classes?

A

Under our new schedule, students will never have less than 10 minutes between classes. The only exception is that on chapel days, students will have five minutes to travel from class to chapel. We will then have a 10-minute passing period after chapel.

Q

When will food be served during the day?

A

Food will be served in the morning, at break and at lunch.

Financial

Q

Are there any additional costs associated with this schedule?

A

This schedule does not include any additional fees or tuition expenses for students taking a 7-period day.

Q

What does an 8th class cost?

A

For students who choose to take an 8th class, the additional tuition cost will be $1,100.

Q

How was the cost for an 8th class determined?

A

The base tuition (no fees included) was divided by seven, and then approximately 20% was subtracted due to fixed costs that are already covered in the base tuition. This charge is necessary to cover our costs associated with offering additional academic classes.

Teachers

Q

How will teachers be trained to effectively use the extended periods?

A

We will bring in successful teachers who use extended periods in each discipline to meet with our faculty and train them on how to maximize their use of this schedule.

Q

If a student is having trouble concentrating in a 54-minute class, how could an 85-minute class be better?

A

All our faculty will receive specific instruction on using a variety of teaching approaches during an 85-minute lesson period. Our expectation is that students will experience multiple instructional techniques each class.

Q

What will teachers' schedules look like?

A

Our teachers will continue to teach six classes, as they do now. Teachers will now have two open periods in their schedules, with one of those periods typically occurring as the first class of the A Day or the first class of the B Day.

Miscellaneous

Q

Why are chapel periods shorter on the new schedule?

A

We will be restructuring our chapels for next year, in an ongoing effort to make our chapel times more meaningful and relevant to our students. Chapels will be more focused in their content, and they will be planned more carefully. As a result, we anticipate needing less time for the chapels. However, we do have a longer chapel schedule available (55 minutes - see detailed schedule page), which we may use on occasion, and if our planned chapel time proves to not allow enough time for our chapels to have the desired effect in our students' lives, we can switch to the longer time on a permanent basis.

Q

How can I ask additional questions or get more information?

A

Please contact the school office at 513-2400.