Release of new school schedule nears

Full details to come within the month.

September 12, 2017

Change is coming soon to the Jackson Prep day. The school has been working on deciding a new schedule as part of a strategic plan that began in the 2014-2015 school year, and the final result of the process will be an all-new schedule that will start in the fall of 2018. A main goal of this schedule change is to allow students to take more classes and become more student-centered.

In crafting a new schedule, the school looked closely at a number of different models used by innovative schools nationwide. Independent School Management is the company that helped Prep make decisions regarding the new schedule. Dr. Bryan Smyth is a consultant that Prep hired to come to the school last year to observe and interview people to help understand how Prep functions.

Prep’s Board of Trustees was briefed on the new schedule as it was being finished. Ms. Carolyn Sisk, Prep’s Director of Academics and Mr. Hunter Upchurch, Assistant Director of Academics, introduced the new schedule to the faculty at a special faculty meeting on September 5. As of press time, Interim Head of School Mr. Denny Britt is set to show the new schedule to his advisory board of students, the Interim Head of School Advice Council, at their next meeting to hear their feedback.

One thing that will change is that different divisions of the school will have different schedules. The junior high schedule will retain more stability. Junior high students will still have sports during the school day. The junior high schedule and senior high schedules will be different but there will be an overlapping carrier (class period) at the end of each day. There will be more carriers in the class day to allow for more variety and flexibility in a student’s schedule.

In the senior high, carriers will also change from day to day, so a student will not take all core academic classes in one day. This will allow students to not have homework in all of their academic classes every night, and help people who get dismissed early from school for different activities, so they will not miss the same class every time. Students can also take more electives with this change.

The new schedule plan as it currently stands is not necessarily definitive of what the schedule will be for the next years. Even after its formal announcement next month, the new schedule will remain something of a work in progress for a while as the administration gathers feedback and comments and moves toward implementing the new schedule for the next school year.

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