What are the benefits of an 8-day rotating cycle?
The 8-day cycle is designed to maximize teaching and learning in the classroom. This model has been proven to show increased academic performance in students. Student movement, class rotation, and preparation for the next class are taken into consideration in the allotment of the class hours. It also extends instruction time and allows for increased student interaction, thereby making lessons more meaningful.
What are the benefits of rotating 55-minute class periods? What opportunities does this afford teachers and learners?
Research shows that people learn best through experience and discovery, and longer class periods will empower our faculty to provide more meaningful and engaging opportunities for our students to do these things. To meet the changing needs of students, classrooms should be student centered and project centered. This helps prepare learners to be critical thinkers, not to simply disseminate facts. Having longer blocks of time will facilitate the types of activities that are critical to student learning. The rotating class periods assure that all courses have an equal number of meetings during “prime” learning time for each student. Fewer transitions during the day produce more quality minutes of class and helps learning “stick.” This interim schedule will be a 2-year bridge to a 70-minute class period schedule for the 2020-2021 school year.
Will my child’s homework be increased to make up for less time in class? Will she have homework for a class even when it does not meet the next day?
Homework is designed to encourage students to investigate on their own and learn how to answer questions. It should reinforce concepts presented in class while allowing students more time to process the content and skills taught. Because homework serves to complement the classroom experience, it should not increase to make up for less time in class. Based on the 8-day cycle, students will not meet daily for each class, so homework will be assigned according to the lessons taught.
Is there a limit on the number of AP or Honors courses my child can take?
Nardin does not limit the number of AP or Honors courses that a qualified student may take in a given school year, but recommends no more than 3 per year.
Will there be semester exams? If not, how will I know my child’s progress? How will she be prepared for college exams?
To make the most effective use of time, our most precious commodity, Nardin will no longer have a week of school solely dedicated to exams during the first semester. However, students should expect to have a culminating assessment in their classes during the first semester to help measure student progress. At the conclusion of the spring semester, time will be dedicated to end-of-year assessments. For students in AP classes, this assessment will be the AP Exam that is administered by The College Board. For students in non-AP classes, this assessment will be an end-of-year exam. Both the AP Exams and end-of-year non-AP course exams will help students learn to prepare for these types of assessments should they encounter them at the post-secondary school level. Grades can be monitored daily on PowerSchool.
What is WinterMission? Is it required? Is it graded?
WinterMission will occur January 3 - 11 and will be a time for mission-driven experiential education immersions for our students. Faculty are currently developing proposals for WinterMission and a menu of options will be available to students in September. WinterMission is not graded but is a graduation requirement and helps fulfill our mission of “inspiring hearts and minds to do amazing things for the world through faith, character, academic excellence and service.”
Will more electives be offered?
The new school schedule and increased graduation requirements will allow students greater opportunities to pursue more classes in each of the disciplines. The new schedule will allow the school to begin the process of developing new course offerings, including semestered electives.
Does my child have to stay at school during free periods?
Members of the senior class who are in good standing will be given privileges by the school to sign out and leave campus during free periods.
How can free periods be used effectively?
Each student will use her unscheduled school time differently. Students will have access to common spaces on campus such as the newly redesigned 110, the library and Guidance. Additionally, part of our Life Skills curriculum in Advisory will address how to effectively use time. Students will have to learn how to manage their unscheduled time wisely through the guidance of their advisors. If students are struggling academically, they may be switched into a structured study hall.
If my child has to miss class because of a school activity, will she be able to catch up?
Office Hours should be used by students to work with their teachers to obtain the information that was missed due to the absence. It is important to remember that students can also collaborate with their peers to get missing information. Families should avoid scheduling appointments during class time. The school has published the major dates calendar and will also send out the Letter Day schedule for the entire school year this summer. Families should do everything within their power to schedule their student’s travel plans based on the dates on this calendar.
What are the expectations of the student and teacher during Office Hours?
The new school schedule will provide meaningful time for students and faculty to interact every day of the week for extended periods of time. Advisors and teachers will be encouraging productive use of office hours for clarification, enrichment, and personalized learning.
Can my daughter be on campus on Wednesday morning even though it’s a Late Start day?
On Wednesdays, our faculty and staff will be involved in professional development and meetings. High school students will have access to the Dining Hall, the library and the weight room and may come in before 8:55 a.m. Each Wednesday, yoga and fitness classes will be offered as well.
How will the new schedule affect bus service?
Bus service for students will not be affected by the new school schedule.
Will my child still be well prepared for college?
We strongly believe that a Nardin education will prepare our students for future success. The new school schedule will allow for a deeper exploration of topics in classes and will provide greater opportunities for our students to learn with passion. The world our students will inherit is dramatically changing, and we must change with it in order to prepare them for what lies ahead. With the help of Independent School Management (ISM) and their research-based approach to school scheduling, we believe that Nardin’s new school schedule will be beneficial to helping our students be lifelong learners.