Academic Experience

Last updated: Aug 7
Note: New content in bold

Overview

Class Size

Class sizes will range from 5–14 depending on the course, so class sizes have been halved for social distancing. The Middle School is transitioning from trimesters to semesters this year because trimester courses would lose too much time in the plan below.

Classes

Middle School students will be changing classes during the day because of electives and various levels of other courses. 

Students will have a 10-class schedule each semester. On each day students will have five hour-long classes plus advisory first thing each morning, alternating Odd and Even days so they will have advisory and periods 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 one day, and advisory and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 the next.  The class periods each day will not rotate from day to day; this is a set schedule.  This schedule will align with the Upper School schedule, too (Odd/Even, not necessarily the number of classes or times), so an Odd day in our calendar is also Odd at the Upper School.

Students will have one Study Session in their schedule on an Odd or Even day.  These will be supervised study halls for homework, or could be used for individual pull-out interventions or enrichment, counselor appointments, etc.

Students will have the original eight classes they registered for last spring or this summer, while 7th graders will take an additional health class and 8th graders may gain another elective.  More information to come later.

Students will never have the same class on back-to-back days, and the schedule should provide clarity and predictability for homework, self-management, etc.  We are excited about the schedule and what it might do for learners and faculty!

Tools

Teachers will utilize Schoology and many digital tools used in distance learning (e.g., assignment distribution/collection) to support in-person students and those learning from home.

Schedule

This schedule and study sessions will benefit students in several ways, while also cutting class sizes almost in half.  Advisories meet daily at 8:40, which will include chapel and related conversations, community building, and other advisory curriculum and activities.  

Here is an example of a Middle schooler’s potential class list each day (order will vary for each student):


A Day

Advisory
Math
English
Social Studies
Science
Study Session


B Day

Advisory
Physical Education
Language/Elective
Bible
Band/Elective
Elective 

*Example schedule

 

 

Time Period
8:40–9:10am Advisory
9:15–10:15am 1st Period
10:20–11:20am 2nd Period
11:25–1:00pm Lunch/Recess (11:25–11:55am)
3rd Period (12:00–1:00pm)
  3rd Period (11:25–11:55am)
Lunch/Recess (11:58pm–12:28pm)
3rd Period (12:30–1:00pm)
  3rd Period (11:25am–12:25pm)
Lunch/Recess (12:30–1:00pm)
1:05–2:05pm 4th Period
2:10–3:10pm 5th Period

 

Other changes with this schedule:

  • For phy ed, students will not change clothes.
  • Bible will be taught the whole year vs. two trimesters.
  • Former one trimester courses will now be one semester.
  • All 7th graders will take a one semester health class, with previous health content pulled from our 7th grade PE and science courses.
  • Students will have recess every day, in some form or another.
  • 8th graders will gain an elective course, to be determined soon
  • We will lower class sizes significantly for social distancing, but continue to offer exploration, personalization, and a focus on our mission and core values.

***Advisors will provide student schedules at Family Orientation Days on August 25th and 26th.

Lower School is OPEN

Middle School is OPEN ✅

Upper School is OPEN

When to Stay Home

Students and faculty must not come to school if they display any symptoms or come into close contact with COVID-19. Please use our decision tree when determining whether or not to come to school.*

*MA follows guidelines from the MN Health Department for reporting contagious illnesses, please let the school know if your child has a contagious illness or if your family has had close-contact exposure to COVID-19.

[T]he partnership between home and school ... elevates our trusted relationship to a higher level.

Rev. Dr. Donna Harris, PresidentLetters from the President