SAMS/SAVHS schedule for 2021-22 school year

Why we are making these changes

This past year has provided an opportunity for us to examine how we do school at St. Anthony Middle School (SAMS) and St. Anthony Village High School (SAVHS). We have asked ourselves, how might we change the school environment to better support our student’s well being to allow for deeper learning to take place? We care about our kids— who they are, their ideas, their interests— and that they feel seen and heard. Their learning experience and mental health need to be better aligned to work in unity for student success.
 

Last summer, our Schedule Committee—made up of parents, students, and staff— were brought together to plan for the different learning models implemented during the 2020-21 school year. This generated an even deeper discussion about what we, as a school community, value, the need to prioritize a new approach to learning. These values were then infused into each learning model. 

How we got here

It’s important to note, over the past few years, the district has been working on this culture shift of a new approach to learning. Yet, COVID-19 required the urgency to introduce these changes. The challenges and pivots we have endured during the pandemic has provided insight. Nothing is going to waste— we are evaluating what we have learned, from what has worked, to where we can make adjustments and improvements.


We are prioritizing student learning and student wellness, vs. efficiency of a traditional schedule. We want to ensure our system and schedule are able to carry out the district’s three R’s approach to learning of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. Through rigorous and relevant curriculum and instruction, students are challenged to use high-level thinking and reasoning skills, make connections and meaning between their past and new learning, and apply their learning in meaningful ways. Through clear learning objectives, students take ownership of their learning and growth.

A traditional school model is built upon the premise and priority of efficiency vs. learning; in other words, getting children through the system in the most efficient way. We must do better.

Synergy between student wellness, educational equity, and academic achievement

Transformational learning requires a schedule that allows for students to experience a greater sense of wellness— leading to higher levels of academic success and social-emotional balance. We will meet students where they are at, providing them with equal educational opportunities and high support as they move toward a mastery of comprehension and application of skills. This process advances students toward deeper levels of learning, application and innovation at accelerated rates.

As educators, we know that too much rigidity within the school day doesn’t give students the ability to learn at deeper levels and have feelings of autonomy and control. Flexibility is a must, as it helps with overall feelings of wellness. The school system should not function as a conveyor belt that doesn’t allow for pause. Students learn at their own individual pace. Learn more about this philosophy.

Student, staff and parent/guardian feedback

Since 2016, there has been an overall increase in mental health concerns in our secondary students. This is especially true with our girls in grade 11— they have the highest levels of mental health concerns. And this concern is felt across the state. Oftentimes, mental health declines are directed at the kids (more assistance, therapy, etc). Instead, as a school community, let’s refocus and look more closely at the environment vs. the individual student.
 

This year has shown, when students had better control over their day/time— they felt better.

Based on what we’ve heard throughout the school year from students and their families, we have learned that we need a less-programmed approach to school. This year has enabled families to slow down and be together, experiencing more opportunities they didn’t have before.

Families have indicated that they appreciate a more flexible and easy-to-follow schedule. And staff want the structure of a consistent schedule that allows for flexibility. Students have enjoyed fewer classes in a day, providing more time to focus and meet with their teachers for extra support, as needed. The flexibility built within this approach has allowed students to work at their own pace. Later start times have also helped improve student wellness. They are more engaged, with learning taking place outside of normal school hours, which students have appreciated.

Social interaction and connection was the biggest challenge this past school year, which we built in as permitted during COVID-19. View data/survey results.

SAMS and SAVHS schedule components for the 2021-22 school year

SAMS (grades 6-8) 
  • Students are expected to be at school everyday. There may be times when families can choose to have their student access learning from home.
  • Wednesdays: students and families have a choice if they want to come into the building or learn from home.
  • Still doing a total of 7 classes with the same required amount of class time—but spread across multiple days. 
  • Learning content remains the same.
  • School day will begin at 8 a.m; school day will end at 2:45 p.m.
  • View a sample schedule (not set).
SAVHS (grades 9-12)
  • Students are expected to be at school everyday. There may be times when families can choose to have their student access learning from home.
  • No credit changes—same amount of requirements.
  • Still doing a total of 7 classes with the same required amount of class time—but spread across multiple days. 
  • Learning content remains the same.
  • School day will begin at 8 a.m; school day will end at 2:45 p.m.
  • View a sample schedule (not set).

As always, families will receive their student’s schedules in August. If you have any questions in the meantime, please complete the following Google Form. We will provide families with an FAQs document based upon submitted questions.

Data, survey results

Sample schedule

FAQs