A school schedule delivers its mission: We inspire and prepare a diverse community of creative, independent thinkers.

After a robust 16-month process of research and design led by the School’s schedule committee in collaboration with the faculty and the student body, York unveiled a new schedule in May 2020. Informed by a convergence of research on how adolescents best learn and mature, the schedule bolsters student success and student wellness. In designing the schedule, our process was guided by the following values:

List of 3 items.

  • Student Health and Wellbeing

    The new schedule prioritizes sleep (8:30 start time), a rotation of classes in the schedule, with PATH advisory, study periods, and music and arts during the day.

    The new schedule ensures all academic experiences, such as visual and music ensembles as well as core courses, occur during the day, with sufficient time for inclusive, competitive sports after school (as allowed by current health and safety guidelines).

    The new schedule prioritizes collaboration time by minimizing conflicts for club meetings, tutorial time, department meetings, faculty meetings, and grade-level meetings.

Advantages of the Modified Schedule


List of 15 items.

  • Why did York decide to change its schedule?

    We know a schedule delivers a school’s mission and a great school should revisit its schedule every decade or so. In its sixty years, York has changed its schedule several times, the last being in 2012. This current process recognizes adolescents in the 21st century need a schedule designed for how they best learn and grow, one that supports their preparation to be positive, productive citizens. We wanted a new schedule that supports meaningful, substantive interaction between faculty and students and to further incorporate time for non-academic activity during the school day.
    In response to COVID-19, modifications to the new schedule and revised calendar dates were necessary to provide flexibility, predictability, and simplicity for students, families, and faculty.
  • How does the new schedule support student wellness?

    York recognizes that adolescence is a critical time in a student’s maturation. Our new schedule promotes students’ wellness in a number of ways, including reducing stress and anxiety; providing opportunities for coping with stress; creating opportunities to engage in joyful experiences with peers and teachers; reducing homework load; providing more time to complete homework and study during the day; providing opportunity to experience music in between other academic classes; ensuring a balance of activities; increased time for sleep, personal time, down time and family time.
  • How does the new schedule support student emotional wellbeing?

    Research tells us that adolescent brains literally grow, or undergo positive changes, during social interactions. We also know that social-emotional intelligence and awareness are essential to success in the 21st century. Our new schedule affords students dedicated time for clubs, allowing for deepening interactions around mutual interests, as well as time to practice leadership skills. Maintaining PATH, our advisory period, as an opportunity to go deeply into discussions on topics of character, ethics, life skills, and goal setting rose to the top of the priorities list for both students and faculty. We are especially pleased that all students will have ample free periods during which they can engage in group work, meet with teachers, work independently, or simply chat with friends. Through this experience, students will have the opportunity to develop time management skills that will serve them well in college. In addition, they will have room for more essential personal time, down time, and family time later in the day, as well as the kind of social time that builds brain power.
  • Why did York choose an 8:30 start time?

    A convergence of sleep research recommends that schools start their day no earlier than 8:30 am. The new schedule ensures all academic and co-curricular activities start no earlier than 8:30. Meanwhile, this start time also supports the diversity of commute times for our families that travel from neighborhoods across three counties in the greater Monterey Bay area.
  • Why did York incorporate music during the day?

    Almost half of York’s student body participates in York’s robust music program and its five ensembles: Chamber Choir, Choir, Jazz Band, Band, and Strings. By meeting inside the daily rotation, students can experience the benefits of participating in a collaborative music ensemble in between their other rigorous courses. A rotation of meetings also allows more ensembles the utilization of our wonderful music room, vocalists the opportunity to warm-up their voices and sing at different times throughout the day, and students who wish to be both vocalists and instrumentalists more options to participate in multiple ensembles. Additionally, students will be able to experience an artistic break in their academic day and participate in a collaborative music ensemble, which we believe will develop the musical talents of our students in a meaningful way.
  • Why did York select an eight-day rotation?

    As a reflection of best-practices in schedule design, York has offered a rotation of classes for decades. We added an eighth day to our previous seven-day rotation to increase opportunities for music and other academic experiences. A rotation ensures variety in terms of when an individual class meets during the eight-day cycle. That variety is good for student focus and engagement. It also ensures that students who must leave a class at the end of the day for trips or sports do not miss the same class all the time. Likewise, if a student is more of a morning person or more of an afternoon person, a rotation provides equity. Meanwhile, meeting times are consistent to provide predictability and structure.
    Coincidentally, the eight-day rotation fits nicely into a two-week cycle, naturally allowing for Community Wednesdays to be our late start day focused on community-building interactions and opportunities. Wednesdays will hold our faculty collaboration meetings, tutorial time for students with faculty, club experiences, PATH, student council meetings, and special forums. We are excited to build off our experiences during the fourth quarter of 2020 by welcoming alumni and community guest speakers to enrich our student body in the 2020-2021 school year.
  • How does the new schedule provide an improved pace in the school day?

    York students are engaged, motivated teenagers who wish to challenge themselves and succeed. Therefore, we recognize the variety and depth of activities each student experiences in any given school day. The new schedule helps students to manage their academic and extracurricular activities by reducing the number of class periods per day, creating time for increased depth of study and preparation, such as homework completion during the day as well as tutorial and collaboration time. The new schedule takes considerable steps to create a healthier daily pace to mitigate and moderate student stress while strengthening our academic and co-curricular programs.
  • How does the new schedule ensure a variety of high-quality learning experiences?

    York recognizes that students learn best through a variety of creative teaching methods, activities, and assessments. We aim to inspire excellence by instilling curiosity in students and guiding them to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. Therefore, our new schedule provides a predictable rotation of paced meeting periods to ensure opportunities for essential content as well as deeper, process-oriented learning experiences.
  • What are Community Wednesdays?

    A welcoming, engaging community is a signature feature of the York experience. For decades, rituals such as Break and club meetings have provided opportunities for relationship building and a greater sense of connection and purpose. The new Community Wednesdays enhance space and time for clubs, student council meetings, and other school activities to take place. They also provide another opportunity for students to meet with teachers or to collaborate with peers on a group project. Every Wednesday will be a late start day for students. 
    York teachers demonstrate a passion for learning by keeping current in their respective disciplines, and they seek opportunities for interdisciplinary projects and collaboration with colleagues. Our new schedule incorporates morning faculty meetings on Wednesdays in support of our commitment to continuous improvement. On late start days, students are provided additional time for sleep, study, collaboration, and personal appointments.
  • What will break look like?

    In the modified schedule, Break is twenty minutes, with ten-minute transition times to get to and from classes. Break meets every cycle day; Community Wednesdays do not have Break. Club announcements will be made only when a club is holding a special event. Break will include Sophomore Speeches, occasional presentations (Chinese New Year, Punmeister, etc.), celebratory announcements (sports scores, Valedictorian, awards, etc.), and messages for the good of the community. We will expect that announcements are no more than two minutes in length.
  • How will clubs meet?

    Clubs have 40-minute and/or 60-minute meeting times on Community Time Wednesdays. Every club will have a designated time slot. Clubs whose central purpose is social interaction will meet at lunch on any cycle day. All students will be involved in a community building activity during club meeting times.  
    Possible club meeting schedule:
    12:40-2:50 p.m.
    • Model United Nations
    • Robotics
    • JSA
    12:40-1:40 p.m.
    • JETS
    • Activism
    • Project Light 
    • Philosophy Club
    • Ukulele Club
    1:50-2:50 p.m.
    • Lit Mag
    • Key Club
    • Q&A
    • Hispanic Heritage Club
    • Asian Culture Club
    • French Club
    • Smash Bros
    • Knitting
    • Guild
    • Chess Club
    • Cooking Club
  • How will Student Council meet?

    All meetings are included during Community Wednesdays. Student Council has requested a meeting schedule intentionally designed to improve the feedback loop. Therefore, Executive Student Council, General Student Council, and Class Meetings will occur consecutively on a weekly rotation basis from 9:50-10:50 a.m. Class meetings are a time for students to meet with their Class Dean, developing leadership skills and extending communication to each grade level.
  • What does tutorial look like?

    Tutorials are important, flexible meeting times that allow students to receive support from teachers. This time may also be used for collaborative work, individual work, or as frees. Any student determined by the Class Dean to require extra support may be required to attend tutorial time. 
    Tutorials are scheduled opposite some music ensembles. Students in a music ensemble have the option of attending tutorials that do not conflict with that ensemble. Students not in these ensembles have the option of attending tutorials. Tutorials are also scheduled on Community Wednesdays, opposite student council meetings and after Class Meetings. Students not in executive or general student council meetings will be able to receive additional support from teachers as needed.
  • How will health & fitness function?

    York recognizes that physical activity is a vital part of living a healthy life that is good for the body and the brain. To that end, we provide opportunities for safe activities for students who are not on an athletic team through supervised health and fitness. York’s new schedule will provide opportunities for Health & Fitness to meet during the day and at the end of the school day. It is York’s expectation that all students sign up for athletics, Health & Fitness, or another activity approved by the Health & Fitness coordinator.
  • What will PATH look like?

    Maintaining PATH, our advisory period, as an opportunity to go deeply into discussions on topics of character, ethics, life skills, and goal setting remains a priority. PATH meets from 11:00-11:40 a.m. on Community Wednesdays,; intentionally placed after the community-wide forum to allow for continued discussion after presentations from alumni and guest speakers.

York School

9501 York Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831-372-7338
Fax: 831-372-8055
We inspire and prepare a diverse community of creative, independent thinkers.
Since 1959, York School has created an exceptional college-prep experience for our youth: inspiring them to develop intellectual curiosity; challenging them to create and try new things; and preparing them to be passionate contributors in college and in life.