I know I’m not the first to say this, nor will I be the last: it’s an exciting time to be at St. Luke’s.
With every passing day, we are closer to living and learning in new spaces. We’ll have new Upper School Humanities area, Middle and Upper School Visual Arts space, designLab Maker Space, a cafe, and reimagined library. Many of our faculty members have walked through the in-the-works construction and have been awestruck by the new environments we’ll have for teaching, learning, and (gasp!) socializing. These additions will allow shifting of spaces within the current academic building. The new and “old” wings of the building symbolize something we do quite well here on the Hilltop: preserve and innovate. We hold onto beloved traditions while seeking new ways to benefit our students and their learning experiences.
As we think about the walls of the School, we also consider the time spent within those walls. One long-term discussion has been around changes in our daily schedule. We’ve had our current schedule for over a decade. Think of how much has changed within that time—many of our 5th graders were just born, and most of our seniors were too young to apply to St. Luke’s! There was no Center For Leadership, no J-Term, no X-ploration, no Black Box Theater, no Inspirica Walk-A-Thon, no Be Kind Plaza, no Mystery Box Challenge… places and events that now are ingrained in our community’s ethos. (And, as my own two darling children have less delicately pointed out, I had a lot more hair on my head than I do now!)
It’s good practice to reflect on this evolution and consider our school’s schedule. This allows St. Luke’s to adapt to changes and emphasize new priorities. For this reason, we’ve spent many months working with teachers and administrators to reimagine an ideal schedule. We began with the question “what would be best for students?” and honed in on the following improvements:
> More teaching minutes per semester
> Fewer class drops each rotation (so a student has each class more consistently)
> Built-in flexibility to allow for curricular innovations
> Longer blocks devoted to important meeting times (such as advisory and town meetings.)
The new schedule will also allow for staggered start times: (MWF: 8:00am Middle School, 8:30am Upper School, TTH: 9:00am start for all). This will reduce drop off congestion and allow for greater delineation of Upper School and Middle School schedules.
We will share more details of our 2018-2019 schedule with families before we head into Spring Break. Students will be able to select their 2018-2019 courses with the new schedule in mind.
And so… the times, they are a-changin’. New spaces and new approaches to our days together. It’s an exciting time to be at St. Luke’s.
St. Luke’s is a private, secular (non-religious) independent school in New Canaan, CT serving grades 5-12. St. Luke’s mission: An exceptional education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead.
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