Frequently Asked Questions about the 2017-2018 Daily Schedule
Student wellness, student course request satisfaction and community time were the main drivers of the change. Currently, our students have homework in every subject every night, and most if not all of our students are committed to athletics, clubs and service in their after school hours. The new schedule attempts to gain some wellness time for our students by giving them two nights out of five in which they only have to focus on half of their academic course load. We have now also normalized Science classes so that the lab period no longer conflicts with other courses. This new schedule will see higher satisfaction of student course selection requests and fewer conflicts between academic classes. Additionally, when we have need of community time for campus ministry, health, guidance and other school wide programming, we have in the past stolen those minutes from classes by X-order schedules or by asking for time in academic classes.
A block schedule is a system of scheduling that replaces a more traditional schedule of six or seven 40–50 minute daily periods with longer class periods that meet fewer times each day and week. For example, a typical block-schedule class might last 90 or 120 minutes and meet every other day instead of daily. Our new schedule is not a block schedule. We have two days (Wednesday and Thursday) of extended periods of 75 minutes each. The remaining three days are the same as our current schedule.
For most subjects, this schedule is five minutes shorter/class/week than our current schedule but includes a 75-minute class each week in all subjects and 80 minutes of community time currently not part of our schedule. One catalyst for this change was a desire from many of our teachers to have at least one longer period in order to deliver lesson plans that cannot be completed in 40-minute periods.
The community periods have a wide variety of possibilities for both students and teachers. Club and team meetings, class meetings and programming, extra help and tutoring, etc. In the Jesuit spirit of “Cura Personalis,” we believe the community periods will allow us to care for the needs of our students in ways that can be challenging in the structure of our current schedule.
The new schedule doesn't include any changes in regards to teachers’ availability before, after or during schedule; our faculty will continue to be readily available to students at these times
We always try to cover as many classes as possible with either internal or external substitute teachers. In doing so, we prioritize covering for freshman and sophomore classes, and obviously anticipated absences (conferences, personal days, etc.) are easier to cover than unexpected absences. We will continue to do our best with this effort and make adjustments should we see issues or problems arise.
In cases of inclement weather or other unanticipated changes, we will follow the same abbreviated schedules as we always have on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and will create abbreviated versions of our new Wednesday and Thursday schedules. For liturgies and other all-school programming, new X-orders will utilize the added community period minutes on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Cheverus students serve the larger Portland community in a variety of ways. Some help to support programming at the local Chinese School, tutor young children at Ocean Ave. School, work in the local soup kitchen just to name a few. There are many opportunities for our students in the greater Portland area and keeping a Monday-Friday schedule facilitates integration with greater community needs.