Aligning Our Schedule with Our Educational Philosophies

I am excited to announce that the Upper School will have a new daily schedule for the 2018-2019 school year that aligns more closely with our school’s mission, educational philosophy, teaching aspirations, and commitment to student and faculty health and wellness. Below please find the features of the new schedule. We believe, and research supports, that these elements lead to more engaged learning, reduced student stress, and more meaningful project-based learning activities.
The 2018-2019 Upper School schedule will:
  • increase the length of classes from fifty- and eighty-five-minute classes to ninety-minute classes and forty-minute flex periods;
  • reduce the number of classes taught in a day from five to three*;
  • reduce the number of transitions within a day;
  • build in more community and conference time;
  • offer a late start collaboration period one day a week;
  • allow for deeper inquiry-based teaching;
  • foster faculty collaboration across disciplines; and
  • expand opportunities for project-based learning and off-campus projects.
*In a normal week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, students will attend three classes, on Wednesdays students will attend all classes.
The goals of the new schedule are to provide a more balanced student academic experience, foster meaningful connections between students and teachers, promote teacher collaboration and curricular planning to benefit student learning, and increase access to the city of Seattle as part of our learning environment.
In 2018-2019, The Bush Upper School’s yearly calendar will consist of two semesters and two week-long AMP sessions. Beginning in the 2019-2020 year, AMP sessions will shift into longer intensive blocks that will diversify academic and experiential offerings. The first semester will run from September through the December break, with an AMP session following in January. The second semester will run from January through May, with an AMP session following. Benefits of moving from three terms to two semesters include reducing overlapping peaks in coursework, ending the term before winter break to afford students a work-free break, reducing time spent in setup and wrap-up of each term, and supporting our curricular goals around deeper learning.
Future communications will address: graduation requirements for current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors; course offerings for next year; extracurriculars and athletics; college applications; how to incorporate more PDF (Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time) into your family routines; and more.