More Schedule Changes Coming in 2023-2024


Credit: Fernanda Paz

The difference between the schedule from the 2021-2022 school year and the 2022-2023 year. The original one, on the left, consists of a seven-day schedule with seven periods per day, with major classes meeting five times out of the seven days. The schedule on the right shows an eight-day schedule with five periods a day, and major classes meeting five days out of the seven.

As we wrap up the 2022-2023 school year and take a look at the new changes introduced to the Hilltop last fall, the new schedule is one that has definitely made an impact on both faculty and students in more ways than one.
Going from a seven-day cycle with seven meetings per day, each 45 minutes long, to an eight-day cycle with just five, 60-minute meetings was a significant change. At the beginning of the school year, students were anxiously anticipating the hour-long classes, but after eight months of using the new schedule, students and faculty have learned to adapt to it and even appreciate it.
Sophomore Rafael Castro, said that at the beginning of the school year, he did not like the new length of classes, but now he is more used to them and does not mind them. He prefers this year’s schedule more than last year’s because of the fewer meeting times each class has which also provides him more free time in his day-to-day.
Sophomore Zora Teacher, said that she also likes this year’s schedule much more than last year’s, but unlike Rafa, she has enjoyed it since the beginning of the year. One critique that she mentioned was that 75-minute classes make it hard to concentrate as they are much longer, and she feels as though it is not always necessary for teachers to keep students until the 75 minutes are over.
When it comes to teachers’ perspectives on the schedule, there is some overlap with students’ views as well as contrasting thoughts.
Upper School History Teacher, Mr. Klimenko said, “I have mixed feelings. As a history teacher, I don’t mind the longer periods as they allow for more class discussions which don’t need to be cut short because of a bell. The real challenge is less about the frequency of class meetings and more about the danger of disruption in unplanned school closing and absences.” He said that how missing two or more days with the new schedule is more consequential than with the old one as a student can go multiple days without meeting with their class.
Mr. Klimenko also said how this year we were spared a bad winter and snow days, not affecting the ability to meet with classes. However, future weather on the Hilltop is unpredictable.
Throughout the year, the administration gathered feedback from students on the schedule to see how the community was adjusting as well as what they liked and disliked about it. They have taken the feedback into consideration and will be making minor adjustments and introducing a new schedule for the 2023-2024 school year.
Mr. King disclosed some details about the upcoming changes. He started off by clarifying that next year’s schedule will largely be the same as this year’s. The five, 60-minute classes a day will remain with a one-hour lunch. However, they are looking to push the daily community times a bit later in the morning. As of now, one version of the schedule will start with first period and move homeroom to later in the day and use it in place of one of the community times.
“The goal is to get everyone all the courses they want to take without having huge blocks of frees in their day-to-day,” Mr. King said. Student course selection and scheduling are what drive the final product of each student’s schedule.