Country Day’s 2022-2023 schedule


Maya Couey and Joshua Hangartner, Staff Writers

The 2022 block schedule for the Upper School was released on Tuesday, May 10th. The schedule, of utmost importance to the student body, has been a hotly contested issue among the Upper School student body and faculty since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has seen various iterations, including Wednesday breaks, to an eight-block, four-period-a-day alternating schedule, to a seven-day rotation schedule and a petition which garnered the support of over ¾ of the Upper School (and resulted in a faculty, student meeting and the creation of the Gray Block). We met with ninth and tenth grade dean Dr. Rachel Clouser to discuss what prompted another change of the schedule, and what to expect for next year. 

This new schedule will be an eight-block, ten-day rotating schedule, with the first day of each week meeting with every block for a shorter period of time. Each day will have a different layout of blocks, but Monday will always have the same layout. Originally, the schedule was meant to be a five-day rotating schedule, but some necessary tweaks have been made in accordance to the California Interscholastic Federation’s inflexibility when it comes to sports game schedules. Almost ninety percent of students in the Upper School participate in athletics, and because specific teams can have games or meets on the same day each week, this would mean that athletes would miss the same block each week. To prevent the consistent missing of a single class, the ten-day, two-week system was set up, which includes a Blue Week and a White Week. The weeks do not differ in their morning schedules. As shown by the provided photo, the only difference in the Blue and White Weeks is that the last two blocks of every day besides the X Day switch places. Dr. Clouser also stated that Monday, also known as the X day, can be utilized in the event of extended weekends. “If we have a three-day weekend, the Monday, X day, goes away, so we still have those four days. They might shift. If we have a three day weekend, we’ll have the X day, and two other days. But every week will look the same, so you just have to learn those five days.”

X day is not a day of gray blocks. This implies that homework can be assigned to be due on Mondays. However, according to Dr. Clouser, there are parameters in the works for what assessments will look like for X days. Our best guess is that tests will likely not occur on these days, as class times will be too short to have long assessments. But, there will be rules set in place for quizzes and shorter assessments.

There were a few driving forces in creating this new schedule. One goal is to accommodate students who want consistency and the ability to intern, plan, work, or play sports at a set time every week who do not have the opportunity currently because of the complexity of the present rotating schedule. With this new, much simpler schedule, students can know when they will always be free and will never be free, with the exception being the weeks when the schedule shifts due to long weekends or days without school. Additionally, Dr. Clouser stated that the driving factor in creating this new schedule was contact time with teachers. “We were trying to listen to students saying ‘too much homework’ and ‘too much meeting time,’ and then we’re listening to teachers who are saying, ‘I’m not seeing my students enough,’ so we’re balancing those two things out,” she told us. All of this is being done while also caring for the wellness of students and faculty. “That’s where the eight blocks come from, because we want students to have as many free blocks as possible, but not give up the academic piece,” Dr. Clouser mentioned. Students are meant to take a maximum of six classes and a minimum of five, and the rest of their classes be free blocks, with the exception of the students that are granted the ability to take more or less classes than usual.

Students should also know that the teachers were not the only people who worked on creating this schedule – a smaller student group met with the administration to discuss the topic. Afterwards, a meeting with all the teachers took place to finalize the schedule. “Everyone gives feedback who are ‘stakeholders,’ so consistently keeping in mind our goals of being an educational institution, plus wellness,” Dr. Clouser informed, hopefully helping to ease students who worry about student representation in making these important decisions.

It’s clear that this new schedule is here to stay, for at least a few more years. Dr. Clouser states that the reason schedules have changed so frequently in recent years is because of COVID-19. “It’s constantly trying to find the right balance in schedules. And we had planned on actually creating a schedule the year COVID-19 hit. So we had already said we’re going to make a schedule. And usually when you make it, you want to keep it for three to five years because it takes time to adjust,” Dr. Clouser stated. “We were literally in the midst of that when COVID[-19] hit, so now we’ve had three schedules in two years.”

“We’re trying to create the perfect schedule, which no school has done, or we’d all be on the same schedule,” states Dr. Clouser. The schedule is an integral part of the lives of faculty and students. However, it is also an experiment. Nobody will be one hundred percent satisfied with the schedule. It is clear, though, that the faculty who put the 2022 Upper School Schedule together have worked extremely hard to make a schedule which everyone can enjoy.

Cover photo credit: LJCDS