New Weekly Schedule

Inside The New Schedule

In Case You're Wondering...

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • How will a block schedule enhance the student experience?

    The 75-minute block classes provide more opportunities for deep learning, academic experiences in Washington, and in-class collaboration. The four days each week that feature these longer blocks will also slow the schedule’s pace and ease homework loads, as students will prepare for fewer classes the next day.
  • How will the flex blocks enhance the student experience?

    The flex blocks create the opportunity and time for Washington-based, experiential-learning directly connected to their academic courses. Tying the resources of the nation's capital even more closely to students' academic work means their learning experiences will be exciting, relevant, unique, and memorable.
  • What if a class doesn’t use the midday flex block to go to Washington?

    This 75-minute block provides unscheduled time for students and faculty to eat lunch with friends and colleagues at a reasonable pace. It also provides unstructured academic time for students to study; talk with a teacher, librarian, or dean; and meet with other students about a class project or research.
  • How will lunchtime be affected by the new schedule?

    The full community will continue to eat together by advisory, family style, during seated lunch on Mondays. Lunch will be served buffet style the rest of the week. When a class uses the flex block for a Washington experience, lunch will either be provided for the trip or students will eat off campus as part of the experience.
  • How will the new schedule affect a student's work schedule?

    Students will have a similar amount of homework per week as they do now, but the pace of work will be qualitatively different, as they will have three to four classes on most days and thus study for fewer subjects each night. Additionally, students will have more extensive time during the school day to conference with teachers and work on homework.  
  • How will the new schedule affect students’ course selections?

    Course selections won’t change. Students will still take five core academic courses with the option to add a sixth or seventh course with approval. 
  • How will the new schedule affect study hall?

    Students will still have grade-appropriate guidelines and daily study hours in order to prepare for their classes the following day. Thanks to the faculty office hours and unstructured academic time built into the midday block, students will have more time throughout the day to begin their work.
  • If a class uses the optional evening flex block, will students lose study hall time?

    When students miss study hours during the evening because of a flex block class, they will be given time during the day to complete work for other courses.
  • Why has the School opted for an 8:15 a.m. start of classes?

    Classes will now begin at 8:15 a.m. to accommodate a healthier pace of the day with longer transitions between commitments. The new schedule provides students and faculty more time to transition between classes as well as 45 minutes between classes and afternoon options to give students time to prepare for athletics and afternoon options. Since our students do not have a morning commute, we are confident they can still get a full night’s sleep while also benefiting from a schedule with a healthier pace.
  • What is a McCain-Ravenel Day?

    On McCain-Ravenel Days, classes will not meet in order for the full community to engage in experiences and programming designed around our Portrait of a Graduate qualities by the School’s McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage. These all-day experiences will provide time for preparation, experience, reflection, and community gathering.

Key Schedule Elements

List of 6 items.

  • Midday Flex Block

    Every other week, each class has the opportunity to combine its regular block period with this 75-minute flex time to create a two-and-a-half hour experience in the Washington region.
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  • Faculty Office Hours

    Faculty office hours are protected time for students and faculty to meet one-on-one outside of class. 
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  • Advisory

    The new schedule creates a dedicated meeting for advisory groups. 
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  • Chapel

    The week still features three chapel services, a long-standing element of Episcopal's program and sense of community. 
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  • Evening Flex Blocks

    Like the midday flex time, this block provides an opportunity for classes to go off campus to explore and learn in Washington. 
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  • McCain-Ravenel Blocks

    Episcopal’s new McCain-Ravenel Center will use these optional evening periods for elective courses that tap D.C. resources and experts not available during the day.

A People-Based Design Process

To create the new schedule, the School formed a Scheduling Task Force with 14 faculty members. They partnered with Leadership + Design, a leading educational consultant that helps schools turn big ideas into action and programs. From the outset, L+D and Episcopal focused on the needs of the institution but also on the needs of the people — students and faculty — at the heart of our program and potential. Over 18 months, the task force developed a thoughtful and thorough process to create a schedule unique to our School. This process included shadowing students and collecting faculty “journey maps” outlining their day. With this and other data, the group developed core design principles to guide its work as it evaluated peer-school schedules and prototyped drafts. The task force presented a prototype to faculty, staff, and students for feedback before rolling out the new schedule.