New schedule adds more time for R-Time


Joseph Zuloaga '23

The daily schedule is posted on the school calendar via the website and also on the large screen in the main hallway.

Nick Nye ’24, Staff Reporter

At the beginning of the 2020 School Year, Riordan decided to change its daily schedule from a “rotating schedule” to a “4-by-4” schedule, a schedule where four of a student’s classes are taught in the fall semester, and the other four are taught in the spring semester. 

Nate Simon ’98, Assistant Principal of Academics,said “The reason we went to the 4-by-4 is we knew that it would be the best way for the students to see our teachers most often.” 

The 4-by-4 system allows consistent and daily blocks unlike the previous schedule. Although, some students criticize the 4-by-4 schedule because it can conflict with certain timing, such as the continuity in learning materials and college applications.

Simon countered, “Since we’re a standards based school, classes can share standards… and we believe it outweighs the negatives.” 

The older rotational schedule had students’ class schedule rotating daily, blocks 1-4 on one day, and classes 5-8 on the other. 

We think about students first… our #1 priority is the student experience and then overall achievement from our students.

— Nate Simon '99, Vice Principal of Academics

The decision in 2020 to transfer from All-Boys to coed had a large effect on the population and density of Riordan. This also had an effect on the schedule. Simon explained that the sudden increase in density meant that they needed to be wary about how they could fit everyone in the building at once (this was the leading factor to creating two separate lunch periods).

Riordan’s scheduling committee has changed the daily schedule multiple times during the pandemic. When asked about scheduling priorities, Simon said, “We think about students first… our #1 priority is the student experience and then overall achievement from our students.” 

This year Simon wanted to emphasize building community using R-time, “So they can start off the day fresh and work through some of the anxieties that might have come out of the pandemic.”He also added,“We wanted to push back the start time for students to make sure they can eat breakfast.”

Simon mentioned that Riordan plans to revisit the schedule once more for next year, the final schedule change for this decade. The current three options for the annual schedule is Rotational, 4-by-4, and a Trimester System, which is three separate divisions in the school year (instead of two). This would require five classes per day, and each class will take two trimesters (two-thirds of the year). All three of these schedules guarantee the exact same amount of total class-time in all eight classes.  

This year there’s more systematic variation in Riordan’s daily schedule. Hence,  Wednesdays and Fridays “float” between multiple schedules to accommodate for sports, House Events, and various occasions. 

The Riordan Website always has the daily schedule posted so that students, teachers, and families know the start and end times of each class.