New Year, New Schedule

The 2016-2017 school year brings a whole new schedule.


Photo credit: Anika Bhavnani

Seniors, Talia Goodman, Annie Schindel and Anabella Ronson Benenati spend their free X-Block on homework. Students have an additional X-Block in their schedule this year.

The daily schedule for the 2016-2017 school year. Last year, classes used to be an hour and five minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday's and Thursday's, classes were an hour long.
The daily schedule for the 2016-2017 school year. Last year, classes were an hour and five minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with one 85 minute period. On Tuesday and Thursday, classes were an hour long.

Students arrived on campus in late August, opened their planners and were surprised to see something different: a new schedule.

In the new 2016-2017 schedule, X-Block time slots are a daily occurrence due to their successful introduction in the 2014-2015 school year.

X-Block was initially scheduled to be an hour long during Tuesdays and Thursdays for students to stop, breathe, get work done or discover a passion.

In the new schedule, all classes are one hour long instead of an hour and five minutes. X-Block will be from 10-11 a.m. daily, removing “long block” from the schedule.

The initial conversation about altering the schedule took place last year with the department chairs.

The purpose behind the conversation was that having a long block in the schedule was hard for teachers to plan around. The range of long blocks were not consistant for all sections of a class, according to Upper School Dean Samantha Coyne.

They realized that something had to change. This sparked inspiration for the new schedule.

“The consistency that the schedule provides is very clean, and to have that experience every day makes it easier for teachers to plan,” Coyne said.

Another benefit of X-Block is that teachers are able to collaborate more. This time gives them the opportunity to have a common free time, which can be used for  planning a lesson together or comparing notes.

Students will have a specific X-Block schedule to follow each day of the week.

On Mondays, upper schoolers will get the full one hour to themselves. Middle schoolers will spend half of their X-Block in an assembly or class meeting, and the other half in advisory.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Upper schoolers can use the time as they please, while middle schoolers will dig deeper into a passion, according to Coyne.  

“[The new schedule] allows for more balance and consistency, which I like a lot in order to maintain my routine,” Alex Sherman ’17 said.

On Wednesdays, both upper schoolers and middle schoolers will spend half the time in Community Connections and the other half in advisory.

Community Connections is a designated time for students in both the middle and upper school to connect on a deeper level.

During Dean of Students Travis Nesbitt’s presentation to the upper school, one slide stated, “The idea is to use the time to come together and dive deeper into questions and issues while strengthening student voices, improving the community and cultivating student leadership.”


On Fridays, upper schoolers will spend half the time in an assembly or class meetings and the other half in advisory. Middle schoolers will spend their time in a normal X-Block, unplugged.

The purpose of having advisory after Community Connections and assemblies or class meetings is for students to digest and reflect on the meeting with their advisory.

Many students support the new schedule.

“I love the new schedule because it gives us more free time to do homework and study for tests,” Avery Bush ’17 said. “It also gives us a break in the day to just relax and unwind. School can be stressful but I predict that this new schedule will help relieve some of this stress.”

“I think we do see the value in [X-Block],” Coyne said.

“I really like the new schedule. I like having X-Block three times a week… It gets rid of long block, which I really like,” Chloe Weisberg ’18 said.