All you need to know about the new schedule

An FAQ to the new school year


Kate Muldoon

This year is going to be like none other, so we are here to answer any questions you may have about the new schedule. 


Q: What’s with the new schedule?

A: Monarch is moving to a “4×4” schedule. This means you will have, at most, four classes each semester. Periods 1-4 will meet first semester, and periods 5-8 will meet second semester. Each class will meet every Tuesday-Friday. Class periods will be 80 minutes long with direct instruction from teachers for no more than half the time. The rest of the time will be for students to work on assignments. The goal is for students to have no homework. AP courses may have required reading outside of the class time. 


Q: Why are there 8 periods?

A: The reason for adding an eighth period is to give teachers the ability to balance their schedules. The eighth period does not affect students’ schedules. Students will still only have seven classes. 


Q: What’s the deal with Mondays?

A: Students do not have classes on Mondays. Instead, Mondays are reserved for teacher planning and meetings. Every Monday by 12:30 p.m., teachers will release their “launch of learning” for the week. This will allow students to see their classes’ weekly agendas and prepare for the upcoming week. Teachers will not be allowed to give “surprise assignments” like pop quizzes that are not included in their “launch of learning.” 


Q: Is school going to work the same way it did last spring?

A: No. Online learning will look different than it did last spring. Instead of teachers putting out a list of assignments to be completed by Sunday every week, they will put out a weekly agenda every Monday by 12:30 p.m. 


Q: Will Google Hangouts be mandatory this year?

A: Students are expected to be online for every class, every day. Teachers may assign work at the beginning of the class period that is due at the end of that period. The intention behind this learning format is for students to have no homework. The school day is from 8:30-3:00 with Access Time from 3:10-4:00. 


Q: What’s the deal with Access Time?

A: You can use this time to get individual help from your teachers. Also, some classes don’t work well with the “4×4” system, so this time allows for students to meet in larger groups when on-going, year-long projects are involved.


Q: Will there be finals week? 

A: This has not been determined yet. 


Q: How will grading work?

A: Grades will be updated weekly. Participation and engagement will be a portion of students’ grades. Assignments will be mainly based on weekly learning rather than summative assessments covering many topics at once. 


Q: Will this system be used even if we return to in-person learning?

A: Yes. In the second semester, the system will repeat regardless of whether learning is in person, hybrid, or online.


Q: What are the odds of returning to in-person learning this year? 

A: The odds of going back to in-person learning are low because 300 BVSD teachers have been granted medical exemptions from in-person learning due to concerns regarding COVID-19. Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson said in a school board meeting that this limits possibilities of returning to in-person learning.