Empowering Girls in the Classroom
Our extensive research has informed our decision to adopt a cascading, rotating schedule with 55 minute class periods rather than the current 42, with the goal that by 2020 - 2021 we will move to a 70 minute class period that meets every other day. Longer class periods allow faculty to go in depth in their subject area and it allows students time for reflection. Longer amounts of time allow for a more flexible and productive classroom environment, more opportunities for using varied and interactive teaching methods, and they support better mastery and retention of material.
Research shows that teaching in extended periods of time has numerous advantages for students when compared with traditional 40-50 minute periods, such as greater retention, higher levels of engagement, and higher-order thinking. This is primarily because longer periods of time allow teachers to turn the learning back over to the students; there is time for students to grapple with questions on their own and with each other, which takes longer than direct instruction, but which also results in deeper learning.
Each core class will meet 5/8 days in a cycle. If we lose a day due to weather, the day will be dropped. Engaging students in an extended period is not simply a matter of having a more activities to fill the time. It requires an entirely new mindset and teaching paradigm that radically changes the role of the teacher, the role of the student and the curriculum. Our commitment to consistent and meaningful professional development throughout the year will allow the faculty to collaborate and plan across disciplines in addition to implementing new methods of instruction.
The school year will be divided into two semesters and a WinterMission. Final exams will occur the first week in June. The midterm week in January has been eliminated and end of first semester assessments will occur in class. The final exam counts the equivalent of .25 of a semester grade. Exam exemptions will remain for students meeting exemption criteria.
Community time is built in to accommodate daily Office Hours, Morning Meeting, Advisory & Clubs. On Mondays we gather in a Morning Meeting, on Tuesdays and Fridays students will meet in small Advisory groups, on Wednesdays we will have a late start for faculty planning and on Thursday we have clubs during community time.
Each student is assigned a faculty advisor and will join a group of 10-12 other students in advisory. They will meet twice a week as an added layer of support and guidance as they navigate their Nardin career. A life skills and mental health and wellness focus will be discussed through monthly themes.
There are 9 houses, made up of one advisory from Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. Family members are placed in the same house. Gator Time competitions occur throughout the year with a Gator Cup prize awarded at the end.
Every day, our students engage in Nardin EXploratory Time (nEXt), our signature “X-block”. This time allows for eXploration, eXperiential learning, and making eXtraordinary connections with fellow classmates, faculty and local experts that challenge our girls to imagine what is possible...what is nEXt! A variety of opportunities are provided that not only align with our mission to inspire our students to do amazing things for the world, but ignite their inherent curiosity and develop their imagination in new ways.
P.E. Requirement for Athletes
Nardin athletes are able to opt-out of gym while in-season. Athletes will decide at the beginning of their season if they want to participate in Gym and if not, they will rejoin their class the day after their last game. Attendance at practice and games is mandatory for this privilege.
Office Hours will provide a guaranteed time for students to meet with teachers each day for a half hour after morning meeting, advisory or clubs.
Our WinterMission is a week-long experiential opportunity for our students in early January that is designed to more fully integrate the tenets of our Academy mission into our curriculum. WinterMission will occur January 3 - 11 and is not graded but is a graduation requirement. Click to view WinterMission brochure