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Strategic Plan

Making Room for New Programs and New Choices

Ben Dougherty
One of the more innovative parts of our schedule involves the new “8th carrier.” First, let me explain that terminology. We will move from seven blocks to eight blocks with half of them meeting each day, so that each academic block meets every other day. Seven of the new eight carriers will be scheduled as per normal, with each chosen academic course assigned to one of those seven carriers. The additional eighth carrier will be scheduled a bit differently. That one carrier will include multiple experiences. Some of the days will be scheduled with our new required programs (Ethics and Leadership (9-12 grade), Visual Foundations (9th grade) and Computer Science (10th grade), which will each meet once during every eight day rotation throughout the year.  The remaining days will be scheduled to allow access to an exciting variety of new choice offerings that will be scheduled into the academic day. While we are still designing specific offerings in this block, current ideas include things like, yoga, speed and agility training, mindfulness, robotics, personal finance and investing, slam poetry, and Model UN, to name just a few. Each of these Choice offerings will be offered on a pass/fail basis, and every student will be required to sign up for one offering per term. Scheduling these into the academic schedule ensures that students have the time to try a variety of things without squeezing them into the fringe. It will also alleviate some of the competition for time that exists in our current schedule and serves as a welcome break from the pace of the week. We are excited about designing the variety of offerings that students will have the opportunity to choose from.

The innovative design of the 8th carrier allows us to achieve several goals that we had from the onset.
  • Calm the pace of the day by building essential programming into the normal schedule
  • Maximize student choice and access to classes and extracurriculars
  • Create dedicated time for our new programming without creating new conflicts.

Specifically, the 8th carrier will provide space in the daily schedule for the following:
  • Time for our new required programs without reducing student access to existing courses.
    • Visual Foundations (9th), Computer Science (10th), and Ethics and Leadership (9th-12th).
  • Allow increased student choice and access to new programming and new facilities
    • Some of our current “Major Activities” will move into this “choice block” (examples might include Robotics, Model UN, Yearbook, Math Team, Excerpt...)
    • “Spark” classes (examples might include things like yoga, mindfulness, weight training, speed and agility)
    • Exploring new ideas or passion pursuits (examples might include things like slam poetry, personal finance and investment, acapella, ...)
If you have any questions or input, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Ben Dougherty
Head of Upper School

The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715