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Mission-Driven and Guided by our Values

The school schedule supports and delivers York’s mission. In designing the schedule, our process was guided by the following values:

Student Health and Wellbeing:
An 8:30 start time prioritizes sleep, while a rotation of classes, advisory, study periods, and scheduling music and arts during the day creates variety and keeps each day fresh and interesting!

The Importance of Arts, Academics, and Physical Activity: 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.

Collaboration Time: The opportunity for collaboration is valued by minimizing conflicts for club meetings, tutorial time, department meetings, faculty meetings, and grade-level meetings.
York's Schedule Advantages

List of 10 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.
  • How does the 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 schedule provides a predictable rotation of paced meeting periods to ensure opportunities for essential content as well as deeper, process-oriented learning experiences.
  • 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, Concert 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 are 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.
  • How does the schedule support student health and emotional wellbeing?

    York recognizes that adolescence is a critical time in a student’s maturation. Our schedule promotes students’ wellness in a number of ways, including reducing stress and anxiety; creating opportunities to engage in joyful experiences with peers and teachers; 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.

    In addition, 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 schedule affords students dedicated time for clubs, allowing for deepening interactions around mutual interests, as well as time to practice leadership skills. Maintaining 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 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.
  • How does the 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 schedule helps students 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 schedule takes considerable steps to create a healthier daily pace to mitigate and moderate student stress while strengthening our academic and co-curricular programs.
  • 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.
  • Why did York choose an 8:30 a.m. start time?

    A convergence of sleep research recommends that schools start their day no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and our schedule ensures all academic and co-curricular activities start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. 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.
  • What are Late-Start Wednesdays?

    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 schedule incorporates morning faculty meetings on Wednesdays in support of our commitment to continuous improvement. On late-start Wednesdays, students are provided additional time for sleep, study, collaboration, and personal appointments.
  • What is Community Block?

    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 Community Block enhances space and time for clubs, student council meetings, class meetings, advisory, 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.
  • What is Tutorial?

    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. 

York School

9501 York Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831-372-7338
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.