Academic Schedule 2021-2022: What You Need To Know

In a recent email from Upper School Director Chris Singler, the new class schedule for the 2021-2022 academic year was first announced. The schedule is now a ten-day rotation, consisting of alternating Brown and Gold weeks. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays will have two 45-minute classes, one 70-minute class, and one 80-minute class, along with a 20-minute break, a 30-minute community time, and a 50-minute lunch break. The classes rotate throughout the week, and each block will occur three times per week.  The Wednesday schedule begins with a late start at 9am and varies per Brown/Gold week.

Science Department Chair Natalie Mayer, one of the teachers involved in the making of the new schedule, said that some aspects of this year’s schedule, such as passing time, office hours, and the “breathing space that took place on Wednesdays” were kept. Some of the changes she noted were “more overall meeting times per course and more student club and leadership time.”

Another new addition to the schedule is the city/service block, which will “allow us to do a ton of experiential programming that is normally difficult to fit in the schedule, or normally pulls students out of class,” says Journalism and Visual Art Teacher Zoё Blatt. Some possible examples include “field trips, guest speakers, service in the city, college counseling events, 9th grade PMA visits, and math/science symposiums.” Natalie adds that the block event can vary each week. 

“We chose the two-week [rotation] because we wanted to have the city/service afternoon, but not every week… it was challenging to fit in every period in one week, with each class meeting the same number of hours,” says Zoё. Another benefit of the rotation was to alternate the last period class so that early dismissals for sports were not continually interrupting the same class each week. 

Natalie describes the rotation as “simple, regular, [and] with some subtle variation from week to week,” adding that the standard nature of the 5-day schedule worked well this year, but some rotation of the blocks is useful. Wednesday on a Gold week will consist of two 80-minute classes, office hours, student assembly, and the city/service block. Wednesday on a Brown week will consist of two 80-minute classes and two 45-minute classes.