New year, new schedule


Emily Yuan, Editor

As students begin the 2021-2022 school year, one of their first priorities is to adjust to a new schedule. Current juniors, some of whom have been at Kent for three years, have had a new schedule each year. 

The new schedule boasts a series of changes, including a later start and the addition of time devoted to Community Life. 

Since Mr. Hirshfeld’s arrival, the Kent schedule has adopted a later start time (8:30am vs. 8:00am). With the old schedule packed to the minute, cutting 30 minutes out was a difficult task. According to Dr. MacNeil, who supervised the creation of the new schedule, an important concern in allowing for a later start was actually the end of the day, particularly the need for Wednesday and Saturday to end by 12:00pm so that athletic contests can take place. To ensure that Wednesday and Saturday add up to a full day of classes, Saturday now holds four classes instead of three, but starts at an earlier time than it did last year (8:30am vs. 9:00am).

Another big change is the addition of Community Life blocks into the academic day. As Dr. MacNeil shared, there’s always been an interest in focusing on a curriculum about community-building, and the new schedule now allocates time for that work. Students should have a sense of how it feels to be a member of a community and to understand the particular values of the school as a whole. 

Unfortunately, everything has two sides. Upper-formers have their first commitment from 8:30-9:15 and are left with about an hour of free time before their first class. Consequently, they often wonder why Chapel and form meetings cannot be moved to the second community life block so they can sleep in every morning. Dr. MacNeil explains that this year’s schedule is the first step in a schedule revolution. The schedule is built to be workable in future years, and the community life curriculum will eventually involve fifth and sixth formers. Additionally, students and teachers have wondered where clubs have time to meet, since under-formers are often busy during second Community Life block. 

With the new schedule, Dr. MacNeil hopes to maintain a rigorous academic experience for all students while supporting health and wellness. “It’s important to still have time to hang out with friends, get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and achieve great things academically,” chuckled Dr. MacNeil.