Spring Term Information for Phillips Academy Families

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Academic Experience & Key Dates

Spring Weekly Schedule

Throughout the year we have responded to feedback and have made adjustments to the schedule to benefit student learning. Since most classes this spring will be in-person, we have heard some concerns about evening classes. The faculty has been in discussion about this topic, and last week made some changes that benefit both on-campus and remote students.

The most significant change moves evening classes (periods 7, 8 & 9) into the day. This will condense the academic day and free up the evening for most faculty and students. We believe this will lead to a healthier daily rhythm, better learning, and flexibility where needed.

The evening time bands will offer flexibility for remote students on the west coast and internationally. Remote West Coast students may take up to six courses within the evening times as well as 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (ET). Remote international students could take up to six courses within the evening times as well as 8:15 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. (ET). While we will do our best to have students in these time bands, there may be exceptions. We will work with individual students, teachers and academic departments to determine final placements.

Many elements of the spring term schedule will remain the same as the winter term. Periods 1-6 will meet at approximately the same time. Each class will continue to meet twice a week for 55 minutes, and there will be a weekly third homework assignment. There will be an All-School Meeting, EBI period, and multiple advising and conference periods during the week.

The course selection process is done, and our scheduling officer, Ken Shows, is now building class rosters for each course. Although we will aim to maintain continuity between students and their teachers in year-long courses, this will be especially challenging for spring term with so much change. Similar to the start of the winter term, students will know their class schedule probably a day or two prior to the start of the spring term. A few things to note:

  • There will be the usual add/drop period at the start of the term.
  • Some teachers will receive accommodations and exceptions to teaching in-person and will teach remotely. Students may have some remote classes this term.
  • Due to distancing protocols, many class rosters will have a total number of students that exceeds the classroom capacity (i.e. 14 students in a classroom that can safely have 12 students). In these cases, there will probably be a rotation of students who may be on campus but will be remote for some class periods.
  • We will continue to maintain high standards of safety. This includes masking, safe distancing, hand washing, and disinfecting areas within the classroom at the start and end of each period.
  • Block A and B are unscheduled.
  • Evening classes and commitments are all remote.
  • There will be a schedule for lunchtime.

Spring Term Key Dates

    • June 3: Last day of Spring term

Plan information is subject to change based on evolving circumstances. This website will be updated periodically, and families can expect regular updates via email throughout the summer.

The fall program will offer more structure—every academic course will include at least two 45-minute synchronous classes each week.

Academic Expectations

  • As in the spring term, we will continue to understand and support the home learning environment for any student who is participating remotely.
  • All students will be required to complete an academic orientation. This online session will emphasize best practices in remote learning, giving every student the skills and resources to manage their coursework with clear expectations and greater confidence.
  • Students will benefit from a more streamlined and consistent Canvas (learning management system) experience to enable them to meet success in achieving our academic expectations.
  • In addition to regularly scheduled classes, every teacher will be available for at least two conference hours per week.
  • All students will follow a structured five-day schedule that allows for personal engagement and connection with teachers and classmates.
  • Every course is being designed to meet Andover’s highest standards of academic excellence. Every student will have the opportunity to be equally successful in the class whether they are learning on campus or at home, remote, or in person. Our fall program will strive to return to the level of challenge, rigor, and support that are core to the Andover experience.
  • The fall program will offer more structure—every academic course will include at least two 45-minute synchronous classes each week. These classes may feature some students gathered with a teacher in a classroom, while other students take part online. All students will have classes that blend remote learners with on-campus learners. We will start with the premise that no student is expected to attend a synchronous class from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. in their time zone.
  • Capturing as much of the Andover experience as possible, we have designated periods for co-curriculars, including the Empathy, Balance and Inclusion program, athletics, music, theater, dance, and Community Engagement. Some of these sessions will be offered synchronously to provide more structure and relationships in a student’s experience.
  • A student who starts on campus may continue their same classes remotely if the need arises.
  • Based on circumstances, we used the Pass/Incomplete grading scale in the spring term. This upcoming year, we will use a different grading scale with ongoing feedback that distinguishes achievement and offers specific support for improvement. A final determination about the grading scale will be made before the start of the school year. Families will receive instructor reports at midterm and end of term as follows: October and November (term 1), February and March (term 2), April, and May (term 3).