School Schedule FAQ
Frequently asked questions about the new schedule, Collaboration, Community and Flex periods
About the Schedule
Why is there a new schedule this year?
During the 2019-2020 school year, Jesuit was already undergoing a bell schedule review process, as is healthy practice for a school to do every 5-10 years. Like so many other things, this process was interrupted by the school’s shift to Distance Learning in spring of 2020. During the pandemic, we have had to shift and rethink our schedule numerous times. As we began planning for a new school year with decreased risk, thanks to vaccinations and general decline in cases, we knew we wanted to revisit our previous findings about school schedules, as well as incorporate some of what we learned about what our school community needs as it continues to return to some state of normalcy this year. These guiding principles were:
The schedule we have set for the year animates these principles in a few ways, both by keeping or improving some features of our old schedules, and by building in some new ones. While all new schedules can present as somewhat confusing or chaotic at first, we hope that our schedule’s simple, rolling style will become second nature within a few weeks. We also wanted a schedule that provided consistency, so class lengths, the timing of lunch, start and end times, and the neat “resolution” of the schedule each week are designed to provide a consistent experience students and faculty can count on.
Due to the nature of shorter weeks and holy days of obligation, we also needed to provide for some flexibility; we have attempted to minimize the changes for special schedules, while maintaining some level of flexibility to accommodate those days and weeks that just don’t fit the usual mold. We have also maintained the Flex Period system, a feature of our old schedule since 2014-2015. And finally, community was perhaps the most important focus we had throughout the schedule review and design process. Even before the pandemic, we had heard from students through surveys and exit interviews that they wished they had gotten more involved, or wished they had known more about opportunities to do so. Add this to the fact that our school community has been scattered for the last 17 months, and we knew we needed to provide time and space to reacclimate to our campus together, as well as to reacclimate to the social life we share in our classrooms and co-curricular activities. The new Community Period is a key feature of the schedule that will help us revitalize our campus culture and rebuild our students’ confidence, in academics and co-curriculars alike.
What’s new for 2021-2022?
The 2020-2021 school year schedules were anomalous in that they were all built around an 8-period schedule, and the schedule from second quarter onward required a considerable slowing down to provide supports for a safe physical return to campus. While these necessary changes helped us with last school year, they are not sustainable in the long term. Therefore, it is most helpful to compare it to 2019-2020’s schedule, which had been in place since the 2014-2015 school year.
So, what’s new?
- no more all-days (previously Mondays)
- not alternating days but rotating periods
- three class meetings each regular week, for a standard length (65 minutes)
- Community periods (see more below)
- longer passing periods (10 minutes)
What’s the same?
- 7 period schedule (6 classes is a full schedule)
- flex periods (unique to student schedules)
- collaboration time (occasional meetings for students by year level)
What are the benefits of this new schedule?
The new schedule maintains our previous level of classroom instructional time and frequency of class meetings while also providing more structured opportunities for students to feel like they are part of the campus community, by improving access to teachers, re-emphasizing clubs and other co-curricular programs, and giving space and time for new programs for student support to take shape and help our students flourish.
Why does the schedule rotate?
For many years, Jesuit has used a schedule that ensures not all classes meet at the same time every day. There are lots of benefits to such movement throughout the week. This schedule features the simplest rotation we have used in several decades, because there are no fixed or locked periods. This means that the class periods will always roll on throughout the week without any odd inversions or exceptions.
Will my student have some classes two days in a row?
Yes. This is no different from our previous schedule in 2019-2020, in which all classes met Monday and then odd period classes met again on Tuesday. But unlike in that previous schedule, a student won’t have a class the last period one day and then first the next, as was the case with periods 5 and 7. The pattern will be new, but it will be consistent, so it will be easier to learn how the rhythm of the bell schedule works for each individual student’s class schedule.
What is a Community Period?
The Community Period is intended to provide dedicated but flexible time for programming that will help us rebuild strong community and relationships (e.g. office hours, peer tutoring, club meetings, student-led activities, athletic team meetings, and other programming). Especially after the last school year, it is important that we invest time and energy into revitalizing our co-curricular programming, provide continued structured time for office hours and tutoring, and allow for new programs and activities to grow. The goal is for lunch time, which used to hold a lot of these activities in a too-short time frame, to be dedicated to eating and having a break in the middle of the day, with the Community Period a more flexible time for everyone to engage in various activities on campus.
Why does the schedule have a Community Period?
When we reviewed our old schedule (last used 2019-2020), one of the things we found was chunks of unused time—10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, scattered throughout the week. We decided to reorganize this time into a new period to allow for new opportunities for community involvement on campus. Another way to think of the Community Period is as a logical extension of how we used Student Support Days on Wednesdays most of the 2020-2021 school year. While maintaining that model was not sustainable for our 2021-2022 school year, it was a starting point for the conversations that led us to selecting the Community Period system to allow students the opportunity to choose from various meetings, programs, and activities that will help support them in the ways that they need.
Where can students go during a Community Period?
Students will have the opportunity to choose among many options and spaces on campus—classrooms for meeting teachers during their office hours, the Library for quiet study, another quiet space for peer tutoring, other classrooms or meeting spaces for club meetings, the Welcome Center, Barry Gym, or Senior Quad for programming from Student Activities, or even off campus for a service program supported by the Office of Service and Justice, just to name a few possibilities.
Will attendance be taken during a Community Period?
We will not use PowerSchool for attendance during Community Periods. However, depending on how a student chooses to spend his Community Period on a given day, teachers and moderators may keep record of attendance for their own programs or records.
Are students allowed to leave campus during a Community Period?
Yes, but students are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the many options available, and at the very least get involved in a club, attend office hours with a teacher, or simply enjoy free time on campus with classmates.
What is a Collaboration Period?
As in years past, Collaboration periods (most commonly on Wednesday mornings) are scheduled times for specific groups to meet and work together. Students will not always have something to do during Collaboration, so these mornings are often “late starts.” But on weeks when their grade level is scheduled for Collaboration, students will meet in groups with counselors, attend assemblies, or gather for class masses. Faculty and staff also use this time to meet and collaborate on curriculum, committees, or long-term projects, or even to meet with students for additional office hours or help.
Are students required to attend Collaboration Periods scheduled for their year-level?
Yes. Students are required to attend all Collaboration Periods scheduled for their year-level. If a student will be absent from a Collaboration Period, all of the school’s normal attendance policies apply.
How do students know if they are scheduled for a Collaboration Period?
This Collaboration schedule is located at the back of the school calendar and is available on the school’s website.
Do students have to be on campus if their year-level is not involved in a particular day’s Collaboration Period?
No. If a student’s year-level is not involved in a particular date’s Collaboration Period, he can sleep in and arrive before the day’s first class period (9:35 a.m.), schedule personal off-campus appointments, or use defined areas of campus (e.g. Harris Center, the King Library).
What is a Flex Period?
A Flex Period is an open period in our 7-period schedule during which a student is not scheduled for a credit-granting class.
Why does the schedule have a Flex Period?
Flex Periods have been a part of the Jesuit High School schedule since the 2014-2015 school year. Their purpose is to allow many of our students to have dedicated time in the school day to allow for flexible use based on their individual needs—study, relaxation, accessing academic support or tutoring. The goal is to help students achieve good balance during the school year and to allow them to better attend to the many demands on their time.
Where can students go during their Flex Period?
During their Flex Period, students must go to one of the designated areas on campus (e.g. Harris Center, King Library, Academic Support Center). All of these designated areas are supervised by a faculty or staff member.
Do students have to go to the same place every Flex Period?
For the most part, no. Students can choose the Flex Period space that makes the most sense for them on a given day. (There will be a small number of students who are scheduled to go to the Academic Support Center every day in order to work closely with the staff in the Center. These students will have the ASC specifically listed on their schedule.)
Can students go back and forth between places during the same Flex period?
Yes. During their Flex Period, students may elect to move to another location, provided they follow our scan-out/scan-in procedures and any additional directions from faculty or staff in those locations. The procedures are laid out in the Student Parent Handbook.
Do you take attendance at the beginning of each Flex period?
Can students come to school late if they have their Flex Period the first period of the day? Can they leave if they have flex period the last period of the day?
No. A Flex Period is like any other class period. Students must be on campus and checked into one of the designated areas during every Flex Period. In order to encourage students to utilize the study time, tutoring, and other assistance available during the Flex Periods, students must be present during all of those Flex Periods, including those that fall during the first and last periods of the day.
Can a student take an additional, 7th academic course during his Flex Period?
For the most part, no. The Flex Period is reserved for tutoring, homework, and enrichment electives as much as possible. Any exceptions must be approved by the administration. For example, students may be allowed to take a Visual and Performing Arts class (e.g. band, choir, or studio art) or other approved project-oriented classes in lieu of their Flex Period provided they have the approval of their parents, counselor, and administration.