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Paly's anti-stress bell schedule and class scheduling

Original post made by Paly Parent, Palo Alto High School, on Apr 21, 2011

I had no idea about the scheduling of core classes as noted below.

I don't know if the jury is still out, but I and others have been impressed with our new leader, Mr. Winston. Positive things have happened at Paly since he took the throne. I have spoken with him in and he is professional, friendly, approachable, and open-minded as well as visible on campus and has school spirit. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but some bad teachers are leaving (yes, there are still bad ones, but give him a chance). Let's applaud his great staff and administration too.

Dear Paly Community,

I want to share with you the results of Paly's hard work this year regarding our pilot bell schedule.

As you know, this year's bell schedule was a pilot. Through a process of collecting and analyzing data and input from over 2300 members of our Paly learning community (students, staff, parents, and other partners) we are pleased to announce we will be adopting the pilot, with refinements, as a regular schedule for Paly. These refinements are based on our continued commitment to enhancing the support and ensuring the success of every student at Paly.

Here are the highlights:

Tutorial and Advisory

1. Move Tutorial to Tuesday
2. Move Advisory to end of day Thursday

Together these refinements allow for greater consistency in the schedule and for lunch at the same time on all block days.

7-Period Day

Ed. Council also reached consensus on keeping the 7-period day and leaving it on Monday because it allows for overall consistency due to the five Monday holidays versus one Friday holiday.
We will be starting second semester with three 7-period days to help support our teachers and students that are in semester classes. This refinement will facilitate better connections with our students earlier in the semester.

Scheduling Students

In scheduling students, we are committed to limiting the impact of four core classes on any block day, with the priority being on 9th and 10th grade. We will be looking at the master schedule to reduce the number of classes on any given day that have historically been called "core academic classes," acknowledging that many of our electives and VPA classes are equally demanding.


We have developed consensus around a "Testing Awareness Calendar" as a way of initiating the conversation around how to reduce student stress, assist in improving student performance, and help students manage their workload. We recognize this is large commitment and acknowledge it will take time and careful conversation. We look forward to working collaboratively in coming years.

Looking forward to a strong finish to the school year!


Phil Winston, Principal


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

The Paly newspaper (Campanile) had a 1st semester review of things going around campus. Phil Winston rated "the best thing that's happen this school year" by the students. Can't ask for a better endorsement than that.