The new academic year has brought Concord Academy many changes, one of them being another new schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic saw CA make many drastic changes to the schedule over an eighteen-month period in order to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of the world. Class lengths were changed, event dates were shifted, and the overall look and feel of the academic day was ever-evolving. But, with vaccines now readily available, and CA welcoming back the entire community to campus, the STAC schedule has been replaced with something a bit more familiar to the community. However, this year’s schedule is not without its own unique changes and features.
One thing that instantly stands out is the distribution of short blocks. In previous years, short blocks were scattered throughout the week. They were either during lunch or at the very end of the day. Now, Mondays have become a day of exclusively short blocks. All classes meet for forty minutes and then have no short blocks the rest of the week. So, instead of having forty-minute classes sprinkled throughout the week, Mondays are now known as the “short block day.”
Another point of interest in the new schedule is lunch, and how it has functioned. For the first few weeks of the year, the Stu-Fac was packed for most of the duration of lunch blocks, resulting in long lines and reducing time to actually eat. Therefore, as of September 20th, the schedule was tweaked to create a less stressful lunch environment. Now, students have been assigned either early or late lunch based on criterias such as where they have class during lunch block (MAC, SHAC, main school, etc.) and their last name (for students with free blocks). This change has lowered the amount of people in the Stu-Fac at any given time, so that those who are there do not have to wait as long for food, and in turn have plenty of time to eat before continuing on with their day.
Start times have also seen some changes. Pre-pandemic, CA would always start the academic day at 8:40 sharp. Now, the start time depends on what day it is. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays begin at 8:30 for chapel/announcements, with classes starting twenty minutes later. But, Tuesdays and Thursdays are different. Faculty have meetings that start at 8:30, and chapels/announcements do not occur until 50 minutes later at 9:20. So, students have some extra time to sleep in and enjoy their mornings.
While there are a few other smaller changes that have been made, such as the addition of an ensemble block and the removal of H block, those are the major adjustments that have shaken up the schedule. While these changes definitely affect the way students and faculty go about their day, the core aspects of the schedule are either very similar or unchanged from what CA used before the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s new schedule takes all the parts from the old one that many CA community members love, and adds a few changes that make academic days run smoother and feel less stressful. It’s not perfect, but no schedule is. CA will continue listening to student and faculty feedback until the schedule is as perfect as it can be.