Upper School

New Upper School Schedule

The development of this new schedule was a data-informed task force initiative that included representative members of the entire St. Andrew’s community: students, faculty, administrators, and athletic staff. Below we elucidate highlights of the new schedule that directly align with St. Andrew’s three-fold visionary commitments to educational innovation, wellness, and inclusivity.

New Schedule Highlights

List of 3 items.

  • Wellness

    • Retains later start time: Research points to the importance of later start times for adolescents, but interestingly our survey data indicated that many faculty and students felt the 8:30 start time was a bit too late. The new 8:15am start time offers a compromise to allow for more time within the school day without causing students to get up much earlier. 
    • Longer breaks and lunches: Research shows that longer lunches and breaks are central for adolescents’ intake of nutrition, overall academic success, socialization skills, and cuts down on what can be a stressful, frenetic pace of the school day.  Longer lunches also pave the way for more robust, less-rushed programming that is distinctive to St. Andrew’s, such as Travel Thursday
    • Longer blocks, fewer classes Tuesday-Friday: The rest of the week features 80 minute classes; long blocks have been proven effective for high school students as they can open up more student centered approaches to teaching/learning. In addition, fewer classes Tuesday-Friday means fewer classes to prepare for the night before; this move is in direct response to student survey data. 
  • Inclusivity

    • Two 80 minute study halls during the day: Because students see each long block twice each week, they will be guaranteed this precious time throughout the week to prepare for classes.
    • Five day consistent schedule: Students and faculty now have a predictable five day schedule.  This way, they will easily know where to go for classes each day (and can plan for future absences) without tracking down a complicated algorithm.
    • Rotating blocks: This new schedule maintains a commitment to rotating blocks so that students meet in classes at rotating times each day during the week; having the same class at different times throughout the week ensures that faculty and students are able to get the most out of each class.
    • Monday begins with all classes: Students will visit all classes in shorter blocks on Mondays in order to touch base with all teachers to start the week off right.
    • Extended time for test-taking: Students that receive extended time for test-taking will now have the time built into the long block classes so that they don’t have to find another time during the day to pick up and finish where they left off.
    • Replacing F2 with Athletic/Consultation Time or Early Dismissal: Tuesday-Friday, athletes will have their practices until 3:45.  Non-athletes will have the opportunity to be dismissed at 2:55pm, go to a proctored study hall in the library, or visit faculty during office hours for extra help. 
  • Innovation

    • More flexibility for clubs, internships, and other student-led opportunities: By having a designated club time on Fridays and longer blocks, students/faculty will have the time built into the schedule to pursue their own interests paving the way to their successful future.
    • More minutes in each class: By cutting down on the number of passing periods, we are able to give students more time in each class each week without sacrificing important break, lunch, and flex time.

Upper School Schedule FAQ

List of 4 items.

  • I have other children in Lower School and Middle School. How will this shift in schedule impact after school transportation?

    This new schedule should not impact your after-school routine:
    • On Mondays, upper school will dismiss at 3:45pm, which will give you plenty of time for carpool at both the LS and MS.  
    • On Tuesday-Friday, non-athlete upper school students will have the opportunity to leave at 2:55pm but will also be allowed to stay on campus to attend a study hall or consult with a faculty member for extra help.  As a result, leave time is flexible and shouldn’t create problems with other dismissal times. 
    • If you have a middle school student that rides with an upper school sibling, they will have the option of waiting for their sibling to be dismissed (particularly important on Mondays) in a supervised room.
  • My child liked the end of the day study hall (F2). Will they still have opportunities for study hall?

    Yes. Students will have study hall for a short block on Monday and two 80 minute blocks of study hall throughout the week. In addition, non-athletes can opt into a  study hall in the library (or schedule a meeting for extra help with a faculty member) during Athletic/Consultation at the end of the day Tuesday-Friday.
  • What opportunities will my child have during the more flexible time in the schedule (e.g. on Friday’s)?

    We plan to support various avenues for youth and faculty-led clubs, as well as potential events (e.g. disc golf on the freshmen field), study time, and conversation groups about a host of topics. In addition, we are committed to making more space for St. Andrew’s students to bring their learning to real life, and we imagine that this time could be used for community engagement, internships, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • Eighty minutes is a long time. Will faculty lecture for the entire large block?

    Through various and ongoing professional development opportunities, faculty will be supported in designing highly-interactive student-centered classroom sessions that involve activities such as direct instruction, student application/collaboration, assessment, labs/projects, and reflection.  (See this blog for other potential effective block structures). Interestingly, our middle school switched recently to incorporate long blocks on Thursday and Friday and although faculty were initially hesitant, most have grown to actually prefer their long periods with students because of the depth and range of activities these longer blocks afford.

South Campus | PK-3 to Grade 4

4120 Old Canton Road | Jackson, Mississippi 39216
Tel 601.987.9300 | Fax 601.987.9324

North Campus | Grades 5 to 12

370 Old Agency Road | Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157
Tel 601.853.6000 | Fax 601.853.6001