A Look at Brophy's Block Schedule

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 2022-23 SCHOOL YEAR, Brophy moved to a block class schedule. This change came as a result of years of discussion and research. In the education world, a block schedule means that classes meet for longer periods of time and usually fewer sessions per week. Now, after the first year of implementation, we believe more firmly than ever that adjusting our schedule has allowed us to deepen student learning and has positively impacted campus culture.

Block scheduling is not a new concept — schools have been utilizing block periods for decades and our own summer school classes have long operated in a de facto block schedule. It was, however, certainly new for Brophy as a standard schedule. For historical context, the last time Brophy had changed its bell schedule was in 2004, and even that incorporated 50-minute periods that were already well ingrained into daily campus life.
SINCE 2004, much has changed here and with education in general. From expanded academic and student activity offerings including more retreats, service opportunities and immersion trips, to a technological overhaul, campus and academic life look different. A teacher at the front of the classroom and a hardcover textbook are no longer the only sources of content. Now, students have a world of information at their fingertips and can immerse themselves in projects using a variety of resources. Students have many more opportunities than they did two decades ago, but without a corresponding increase in time allotment, the dichotomy between 21st-century changes in teaching and learning and a schedule rooted in the past becomes increasingly more difficult to leverage.

Thank you for your support as we prepare our students to live, work and thrive in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. Contact Assistant Principal for Technology Mica Mulloy with any questions.

Block Schedule: Priorities

List of 4 items.

  • > Adjust the pace of the school day and week

    Our previous schedule (with shorter periods) was necessarily fast-paced. A block schedule allows us to slow that pace down and create opportunities to work differently without piling our important community activities into tight windows and packed days.
  • > Create space for community periods.

    In the past model, many of the things that make Brophy unique had to be squeezed into the margins of the school day or required people to sacrifice lunch periods in order to participate. With our block schedule, community periods create dedicated space in the school day for these activities. Whether it is club meetings, intramurals, counselor/adviser sessions, liturgies, meetings with our team system, office hours or study periods, these opportunities represent time spent in community that the old schedule could not accommodate.
  • > Create space for deeper learning in classrooms.

    The original 50-minute periods limited our students' activities and our ability to stay on the cutting edge of academic best practices. We know concepts like project-based learning and student-led inquiry can pay dividends when it comes to students learning to think critically and problem solve. While we do not anticipate a shift in traditional outcomes such as standardized test scores because of the block schedule, we are excited to see students enjoying and benefiting from a more robust learning experience as they break from the confines of 50-minute classes.
  • > Create more regularity with the schedule.

    The block schedule has allowed us to build windows into our schedule so that we can better accommodate events beyond classes. Now, school Masses, assemblies, Summit keynotes, etc. can happen with little or no impact on class schedules.