Block Schedule & Vincentian Day Colloquium
The Block Schedule we will use is seen here. See below for an explanation of each day and schedule:
Blue Day, Red Day
These days will alternate throughout the entirety of the school year and will be our normal daily schedule.
Blue Ram Day, Red Ram Day
This schedule will alternate with our Vincentian Day Wednesday Schedule and will be used for days where Mass, assemblies or a pep rally will be held.
Every other Wednesday, we will implement this model. Please see the introduction to Vincentian Day below.
Introduction to Vincentian Day
We are excited to share with our parents and students our second change for the 2021-22 school year, a new learning structure that we will implement at the start of the year called Vincentian Day. Vincentian Day will consist of a semester-long opportunity for students to engage with other students and a faculty member around a topic that is of great interest to them and that they might otherwise not have a chance to learn about within our typical school day and with DePaul Prep classmates and teachers.
Vincentian Day is designed to engage students' intellectual curiosity and expand their knowledge base by introducing them to new areas of interest and lifelong learning. With Chicago as our classroom, these seminars will provide opportunities for our students to learn about the arts, sciences, and other cultures through the City's many museums, arts spaces and experiential learning opportunities taught by our faculty.
Our Vincentian Day was designed with a clear purpose in mind. Namely, to increase opportunities for:
- Learning experiences rooted in our Core Values
- Authentic learning based on student choice and agency
- Student leadership in leading Seminars with faculty members
- Time and space to address and discuss broader issues impacting our community in the arts, social justice and experiential learning
- Opportunities to spark intellectual curiosity and Vincentian inspired values that will prepare students for college and life.
- Deeper understanding of different perspectives based on our individual identities
- Positive student connections across grade level, gender, race, faiths and identity - with peers and adults
- Development of essential social emotional skill competencies
Students will have 8 opportunities to engage in a variety of seminars over the course of 4 years, adding to the richness of our DePaul Prep college preparatory curriculum and learning experiences. We anticipate that not only will students enjoy these seminars but they will also set students apart from peers when colleges and universities review their transcripts to see the range of learning that our students engaged in while in high school.
Vincentian Day will look different than a typical school day. Here are some of the design details:
- Scheduled on every other Wednesday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. for a semester
- Individual ‘courses’ designed around a specific topic, taught by a faculty member or pair of faculty members and connected to our Core Values
- Seminars take place both on campus and may also travel off campus, using the City of Chicago, its museums, theaters and cultural institutions as our classroom
- Students choose to register for their top 5-7 Seminars at the end of each semester for the upcoming semester.
- Seminars do not include grades or homework or assessment
Vincentian Day meets our need to create intentional opportunities across our student body to build relationships *outside of academics* so we can maintain the community feel that we feel is so unique to DePaul Prep. Vincentian Day is designed to capture both the spirit and mind of our students, engaging them in learning that is qualitatively different from the learning done in classrooms but that is equally important to our student's growth and development into young adults.
Additionally, Vincentian Day provides opportunities for enrichment and for students who struggle academically, or who face historical marginalization in school, or who just feel like they don't "fit" with school via academics to still find a space to connect with an adult and like-minded students during the school day.
During the mornings of Vincentian Day
- Faculty will be engaged in professional development and department collaboration from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.
- Students will be expected to arrive on campus by 11:45 a.m. in time for their Vincentian Day Seminar. Our Dining Hall will be open for students who wish to arrive prior to 11:45 a.m. to eat lunch with friends or to study.
A Final Note about Vincentian Day and our Block Schedule
With the implementation of Vincentian Day, the number of instructional minutes that students would receive under a more traditional 8 period day remains the same. This aspect of the block schedule was carefully considered by our faculty and administrative team. Many, many high schools across the country use a block schedule similar to ours. In fact, two neighboring schools, Walter Payton and NorthSide College Prep use both a block schedule and have implemented a learning model similar to our Vincentian Day. We are confident that these two new changes will enrich and strengthen our total academic program and provide even more opportunity for student success at DePaul Prep.
With any questions about the Bell Schedule, block schedule, or Vincentian Day colloquium model, please reach out to:
Dr. Megan Stanton-Anderson, Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org