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 is proven to increase 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 are afforded teachers and learners?

Research shows that people learn best through experience and discovery, and longer class periods 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-based. This helps prepare learners to be critical thinkers, not to simply disseminate facts. Having longer blocks of time facilitates 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.” 

Is my daughter's homework increased to make up for less time in class? Does 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 daughter 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.

Are there semester exams? If not, how do I know my daughter's progress? How will she be prepared for college exams?

To make the most effective use of time, our most precious commodity, Nardin does not have a week of school solely dedicated to exams during the first semester. However, students should expect to have culminating assessments in their classes during the first semester to help measure progress. At the conclusion of the spring semester, time is dedicated to end-of-year assessments. For students in AP classes, this assessment is the AP Exam that is administered by The College Board. For students in non-AP classes, this assessment is an end-of-year exam. Both the AP Exams and end-of-year non-AP course exams help students learn to prepare for these types of assessments should they encounter them at the post-secondary school level. Mid-semester progress reports are sent out twice a year. Grades can be monitored daily on PowerSchool.

What is Winter Experience? Is it required? Is it graded?

WinterMission occurs the week students return from Christmas break and is a time for mission-driven experiential education immersions for our students. A menu of options are available to students. 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 school schedule and increased graduation requirements allow students greater opportunities to pursue more classes in each of the disciplines.

Does my daughter have to stay at school during free periods?

Members of the senior class who are in good standing are given privileges by the school to sign out and leave campus during free periods.

How can free Blocks be used effectively?

Each student uses her unscheduled school time differently. Students have access to common spaces on campus such as the redesigned 110, the library and Guidance. Additionally, part of our Life Skills curriculum in Advisory addresses how to effectively use time. Students learn how to manage their unscheduled time through the guidance of their advisors. If students are struggling academically, they may be moved into a structured study hall.

If my daughter 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. Major dates and letter days are shared through the school calendar. 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 school schedule provides meaningful time for students and faculty to interact every day of the week for extended periods of time. Advisors and teachers encourage productive use of office hours for clarification, enrichment and personalized learning.

Will my daughter be well prepared for college?

A Nardin education prepares our students for future success. The school schedule allows for a deeper exploration of topics in classes and provides greater opportunities for our students to learn with passion. The world 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 school schedule encourages our students to be lifelong learners.