Northwood Adopts Trimester Schedule

With the start of the 2017-18 academic year, a new academic calendar has been established at Northwood School to incorporate trimesters instead of semesters. The change was sparked by Dean of Academic Affairs Ms. Jill Walker, Director of College Counseling Mr. John Spear, and Dean of Students Mr. Gino Riffle, as a way to enhance academics and “give fresh energy into classes,” said Walker.


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The new schedule has changed the academic year by making three 10 week trimesters instead of two 14 week semesters. This idea puts extra pressure on teachers, making them have to change their planning for coursework and tests. Although this may be a challenge for teachers , Mrs Walker says, “it gives students the chance to try more electives.” This makes the course length shorter while giving a full credit per trimester instead of half credit per semester.

This schedule change coordinates well with school vacations. The first trimester ends right before Thanksgiving break, the second trimester ends at the start of February break, then the third trimester continues until end of school. It also lines up with the traditional sports calendar by separating fall, winter, and spring sports so they line up with the academic year.


The change marks the start of “a big curriculum review,” according to Ms. Walker, that “looks at what we teach, why we teach what we teach, and making sure we have an appropriate global perspective in our courses.”


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