This past year, Concord Academy implemented a new schedule in order to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new schedule has allowed this academic year to function smoothly despite the state of the world. But, with vaccines becoming readily available, and the hope that life will begin to show signs of normalcy in the near future, CA aims to return to fully in-person learning for the 2021-2022 academic year. It is clear that CA wants life on campus next year to be as normal and convenient for students and faculty as possible.
The transition back to normalcy entails returning to a schedule that members of the community are accustomed to. But, CA has also taken this opportunity to take a good look at the old schedule, realize some of the problems it presented, and ensure that the new schedule does not cause these problems. The result of this is a sort-of hybrid schedule. Many of its main features have been carried over from the traditional pre-pandemic schedule, but a few changes have been made that hope to address some of the problems that the old schedule was causing.
Monday is the day that will see the biggest change. Instead of functioning like any other day of the week in terms of academic blocks, Mondays will now allow students to attend all of their classes from A-block to G-block for forty minutes each. To compensate for the amount of different classes and moving around, there will also be two breaks; one from the usual 10:15-10:30, and another from 2:05-2:20 right before G block. Music Mondays maintains its spot on the schedule, ranging from 3:30-7:00 that afternoon.
In terms of the normal academic blocks, they will last an hour and ten minutes each, the same as they do currently. Chapels and announcements begin at 8:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but Tuesdays and Thursdays have an hour of built in meeting time from 8:30-9:30, meaning that chapels are pushed back by an hour. There won’t be any mandatory programming during the meeting blocks, so those who don’t have any meetings with teachers arranged can sleep in for an extra hour before starting their busy day.
Other than on Mondays, there are no built-in ‘break times’ in the schedule. This is because of the new meeting times on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and the addition of school-wide free lunches. Middle lunch will now be open for the whole school, regardless of whether you have late or early lunch. There will be a common time during lunch that everyone has free, which also allows for students and teachers to set up quick meetings similar to those that were held during breaks. Friday afternoon lunches will also play host to class meetings as well.
That is, in short, all of the major points of emphasis in the new schedule. Most of it will look very similar to the students and faculty that have been at CA for a few years. But, additions such as later start times, school-wide free lunch periods, and short-block Mondays will be very welcome changes that make life at CA easier and more convenient.