New Calendar Chosen; Six-Day Weeks Abolished

After discussing various options, faculty voted on a new school calendar for the year 2007-2008, and decided to introduce Assessment week during the 2006-2007 school year. Faculty decided to refine the current calendar in order to standardize and slightly increase the number of school days. Under the current calendar, the number of class days differs each year by up to 5 days. The new calendar includes almost exactly 150 class days, with additional time during Assessment Weeks. Assessment Weeks will replace exam weeks. There are 13 designated assessment days on the proposed calendars for both this year and next year. Each day of assessment is divided into either two or three blocks of time and every class has one designated block. However, some select subjects will have an additional block each Assessment Week. There is only one day during each Assessment Week with three blocks. Thus, unless a student is taking multiple courses in one subject, he will have a maximum of three exams on the same day. Faculty worked together to come up with several different calendar options, then voted at the end of Spring Term to select the draft that will likely be adopted next year. The main differences from last year’s calendar are an additional four days added to Thanksgiving break, four subtracted from Winter Vacation, and no six-day weeks. The proposed calendar for the 2007-2008 school year begins with new students arriving the Saturday after Labor Day weekend, like this year. Returning students will arrive Sunday, September 8th. Fall Term will remain the longest, consisting of 57 class days. Winter and Spring Terms will each include 46 class days. The extra school days sought in the design of this calendar come at the expense of Phillips Academy’s unusually early commencement. Summer vacation will begin three days later than last year. Under the new calendar, classes end June 3 and Assessment Week ends June 7. The Class of 2008 is scheduled to graduate on June 10. Last year, the final day of classes was May 26th and Exam Week ended June 1. The Class of 2006 graduated on June 4. The new calendar may be viewed in detail under Academic Resources on PAnet. Another option that was considered but eliminated by majority vote divided the school year into three equal terms. This calendar required school to begin earlier in the fall, with Fall Term ending before Thanksgiving break. This option would have allowed a more relaxing Thanksgiving for students, but the early start was not desirable for many. Former Dean of Studies Margarita Curtis helped initiate the calendar change, but she will not be at Andover to see it implemented in 2007, as she has assumed the position of Head of School at Deerfield Academy.