Academic Block Schedule
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Lawrence Academy opened the 2019-20 school year with a new 75-minute long block schedule. The school continues to have seven (A-G) blocks, which allow maximum flexibility for students taking required and elective courses and also provide every student with a free block. The blocks rotate over two weeks, creating alternating Red and Blue week schedules.
Classes meet every other day. Blocks will have the same number of total class meetings per term. This change reduces net teaching time per week by 12.5 minutes. The old block schedule, alternating shorter blocks with a more extended block, has been in place with only slight tweaks the last eight years. Moving to a schedule that offers the consistency of 75-minutes blocks helped create a regular rhythm from which everyone benefits.
To best serve students and their learning, we have known for a few years that we needed to develop a schedule that reflected our foundational beliefs about learning, students, and what good preparation looks like for a vastly different world than what most of us adults grew up in...
In addition, doing what we can to address student stress and anxiety is always top of mind. The new 75-minute long block schedule offers routine, predictability, a relaxed pace, extended learning time, increased homework time, and malleability — all needs the old 45-minute rotating block schedule fails to meet.
In developing the new academic block schedule, the faculty held dozens of conversations over the last few years about the use of time at LA. Much thought was given to the non-negotiable needs like daily advisory/assembly, hard limits like the start and end time of each day or PSAT day, as well as the reality that every year we host a myriad of speakers, assemblies and Independent School League obligations that we have to accommodate.
Faculty pondered extensively questions regarding how to structure time to support our strategic priorities of exceptional faculty-student connections, a compassionate culture, and individualized teaching and learning for all students. We believe 2019 - 2020 schedule creates for adults and students a better platform for us to lean into and build toward these strategic priorities.