Academics / Community

The more things change, …

2019-20 has already seen many changes in the schedule. Thursday mornings now have a different rhythm, and traditions such as Harbor Cruise, Cabaret, and Graduation have been moved around.

On Thursday mornings, the first-period class is now before Class Meeting to make the Upper School schedule fits better with the Middle School schedule. Some students have frees as their first period, so they get to sleep in even later.

Another change is the timing of Harbor Cruise. In previous years, Harbor Cruise has taken place on the first Friday of the school year. This year it was on September 16th, which was a Monday after a day of shortened classes. The purpose of the change was to give new students time to make friends and feel more comfortable before the event. The change did mean that the busses faced more traffic returning home, and some students complained that they were tired for classes the next morning. Ms. Keimowitz explains that conflict with sports schedules meant that the School was not able to schedule Harbor Cruise on a Friday, but she said they are looking into putting it on a different day in the years to come. Grace Thames ’20 stated, “I don’t like [the later date] as much because [Harbor Cruise] was such an important part of my first week since you interact with new people because of it, so it’s sad that it is later and people were not as excited for it since we were already in our regular school routine.” New student Addie Grave ’22 did feel that the later date give her more time to make friends; however, she did not believe it impacted her integration into the school: “I don’t think it would have made a difference if it was the first week of school. I think that if it was the first week of school I would have been able to form more relationships on Harbor Cruise because of the happier environment. School is a more stressful environment.” Ms. Keimowitz did notice a decrease in new students sitting alone, which was a mission accomplished. 

Last year, Commencement was moved to be before final exams, so that seniors could leave early, which left the remaining students studying for exams the ability to focus and study without the distraction of the seniors. Many graduating seniors enjoyed this change last spring; however, the remaining students have had more mixed feelings. Erin Carney ’20 stated, “graduation is supposed to signify the end of the school year, so when we have to go home and study for hours on end for even more school, motivation is lost.” However, alumna Ellis Hargadon ’19 stated: “Leaving for exams was probably the best choice for us because it makes more sense than staying for another week and being done with everything. It is also just another few days for underclassmen to go through.”

Another exam-related change is that Trimester I will no longer end in exams; instead, they have been moved to the winter, January 31 to February 4. In a ripple effect, Freshman Cabaret has thus been moved to Trimester I.

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