Even as summer begins with the excitement of vacations and trips to the pool, planning has already begun for the 2017-18 school year on the Ridge.
With an eye toward helping boys get more rest to improve school performance, McCallie will institute a new weekly schedule for the 2017-18 school year, moving the start of academic classes to 8:55 a.m. every school day. This last year, classes began at 8:30 on four days a week and 8:55 on Wednesday mornings.
In recent years, researchers have found that students in middle and high school are not getting enough sleep and benefit from later school start times. This spring, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a statement encouraging schools to delay the start time for the academic day, echoing earlier opinions published by American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Our boys are busier than ever before, and we know that adequate rest and a good pace to the day are crucial to their success in academics, sports and other activities,” Headmaster Lee Burns ’87 said. “Research and our experiences have shown that a slight delay in the start to the school day will help our boys succeed in school and extracurricular activities. We're excited about this new schedule because we believe these small changes will benefit the boys.”
Despite the delay, McCallie’s academic schedule will remain fundamentally the same, maintaining the rotating class schedule, three backwork/extra help periods and three chapel meetings each week, as well as Advisory each Wednesday.
Mondays through Thursdays, the last class will dismiss at 3:25 p.m. On Fridays, classes will end at 2:30, a little earlier than this past year. Afternoon activities will begin by 3:45 (except on Friday), and all activities and athletic practices will dismiss by 6 p.m. for the Upper School and 5:30 for the Middle School, with many afternoon activities ending earlier.
The bus schedule will not be affected by these schedule changes. Those times will remain consistent with last year's times.
With the later start time, 8-8:55 a.m. will be reserved as E-Period for Enrichment activities. E-Period will provide opportunity for groups of boys to meet voluntarily for enrichment, including club planning and programming, voluntary academic help sessions, some in-season weight training, and other optional activities that boys may periodically participate in.