We know that balance plays a critical role in the teenage learning process.
We have high expectations for our students but we are also a school that values balance, and that's what makes it work. We give students the resources and the spaces to build their capacity for social and emotional wellness, step outside and reset, and develop the exercise and self-care strategies necessary to live longer and healthier lives.
With our block schedule, classes meet every other day. This gives students the time they need in class to really dig into their coursework. It also means that there is more time for community activities including assemblies, class meetings, and advising group meetings.
Tutorial is built into our schedule and meets every single day. This gives students a chance to check in with the teacher about things that are unclear about a class, or to connect on a longer-term project. We also offer eight early release days over the course of the school year, creating opportunities for students to do group work or independent work, connect with friends, or just get outside.
Instead of final exams, we end each school year with five-day long culminating projects, or EOY projects as we call them, which are grade level specific. These inter- and transdisciplinary, experiential programs target the academic goals (both skills and content) and help students apply what they are learning.
MA is known for its co-curricular programs that are at the core of experiential education. Our outings program provides students an opportunity to get outside in meaningful ways. Our athletics program, our theater program, and our community action program all give students a chance to connect with each other and with the broader community. And with our minicourse program we press pause on the academic calendar to give students a week to really dig into a topic they care about and reset.
Saved by the bell
A saner pace for scheduling: The way a school decides to spend its time says a lot. At MA, our schedule includes ample space for extended classroom discussion, project collaboration, meeting with teachers, community-building assemblies, and more. Classes meet every other day for an extended time period to allow students and teachers to delve deeply into coursework. And no bells. Ever.