Upper Division (9–12)
The upper division schedule was implemented at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year after research and collaboration among faculty, department heads, and the upper division leadership team. This schedule allows us both to optimize all that we know about adolescent learning and to better attend to our students’ wellbeing. Longer class periods allow for much greater depth of study, time for a variety of activities in a single class and the opportunity to reflect and review at the end of each lesson.
We have designed an innovative learning program that ensures our students remain fully engaged with their classmates, emphasizes curiosity and joy of learning, and reinforces the sense of belonging for which Stevenson is known. With Pirates dispersed around the world, it is more important than ever to maintain synchronous classes where possible.
The key features of our schedule worth noting are as follows:
- Classes meet for 70 minutes, with four classes per day. Longer class periods allow for much greater depth of study, time for a variety of activities in a single class and the opportunity to reflect and review at the end of each lesson.
- By reducing the number of classes per day, with classes meeting every other day, we have reduced the amount of homework due on any given day. On average, students will have three classes per day so will only have three homework assignments per night (as opposed to up to six in our current schedule)
- The rotating, eight-day schedule results in classes meeting at different times and on different days each week. This eliminates the inequitable impact on certain classes of early athletics dismissals and a disproportionate number of Mondays and Fridays without school (for national holidays, in-service days, etc.)
- There are no direct transitions from one class into another. Research shows that a significant amount of instructional time is lost when students have to adjust to a new class immediately after leaving a different subject. An absence of direct transitions also eliminates time lost to designated “passing periods.”
- With only one class meeting after 1:30 pm, fewer classes will be impacted by early athletics dismissals
- The dedicated extra help period gives all students access to teachers, regardless of whether they have a free period that aligns with their teacher (as is the case in our current schedule). This slot in the schedule can also be used for individual advisory meetings.
- Fifty minutes each day is dedicated to non-academic, social-emotional and community curriculum (e.g. advisory, assemblies, clubs and activities, senior forum).
- The start of the school day will remain at 8:30 a.m., after a successful trial of a later start time this year.