Mod Schedule

The new schedule at Duchesne

Beginning in the fall of 2020, Duchesne Academy will roll out a six-term modular schedule — the "mod" schedule. This modular system will allow Duchesne to lead the way in providing a transformational 21st century education.

In Middle and Upper School, the schedule will shift from two semesters per school year to six terms per school year. Each term, or "mod," will be 29 or 30 days and students will take four to five courses during each mod. The Lower School will adopt an eight-day rotation for the specials in order to increase time in learning in the homerooms.

The start and end times of the school day will not change, but the school year will begin and end earlier. The 2020-2021 school year will begin August 10, 2020 and end May 18, 2021.




Why Are We Doing This?

Education for the 21st Century

Life in the 21st-century is radically different than it was 100 years ago, yet our educational system hasn't changed. In order to best educate our children to thrive in 21st century economies, we need to rethink how we're teaching and respond to developments in the globalized world.

Backed by Research

The new schedule at Duchesne was devised after thorough examination of research that documents how students best learn. The following represents the culmination of research on schedules and best practices as identified by Independent School Management, NAIS, Learning & the Brain, ASCD, TABS, and others. For each category, we have identified a body of supporting research:

Achieving Strategic Imperatives, Goals & Criteria, and Accreditation Recommendations

The mod schedule will allow Duchesne to achieve the imperatives laid out in the Envision 2022 Strategic Plan, as well as meet the recommendations given by the ISAS and TCCBED accreditations. Additionally, the new schedule will allow Duchesne to more fully live out the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria.

The following is the slide deck that was presented at campus meetings to announce the mod schedule.

What Will It Entail?


  • Term = Mod
  • Class period = Bin
    • 1 Bin = 1 credit
    • 3 Bins = 3 credits = 1 full course
    • 0 Bin = ½ credit

Example Schedules

Course Catalog

The mod schedule will provide a curriculum and experiential learning opportunities unlike any other school in Texas. Each year, the course offerings will be updated to provide more choices and adapt to student interests.

Download a PDF of the course catalog

Project-Based Learning

The mod schedule will allow Duchesne to expand the project-based learning opportunities in all grade levels. Watch this video to learn more about project-based learning and why it's critical to 21st century learners:

When Will It Happen?

2020-2021 School Year

Over the next 18 months, Duchesne's faculty and staff will be making preparations to ensure a smooth transition into the new schedule. A few of the key events include:

  • February 2018: Presentation by Denise Pope of Challenge Success
  • April 2018: Presentation by Madeira, an all-girls school with a mod schedule
  • May 2018: Presentation by Bryan Smyth of Independent School Management (ISM), one of the nation's top school scheduling experts
  • January 2020: New course guide for 2020-2021 published
  • Fall 2019 - Spring 2020: Professional development for faculty to design courses
  • Spring 2020: Course registration begins
  • Fall 2020: New schedule begins


Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics of a Mod Schedule

Homework, Exams, and Time Management

Teaching and Learning

Graduation Requirements, AP Courses, and College Entrance

Other Considerations


Overall Expected Outcomes

  • More emphasis on skill-based curriculum and academic programs
  • Students who are critical thinkers and problem solvers
  • Increased depth of exploration and discovery in each course
  • Highly engaged students who develop a life-long love of learning
  • More authentic and immersive social awareness experiences
  • Slower pace of school day and workload to reduce stress and anxiety
  • More time for extra-curricular activities and family life
  • Stronger relationships between teachers and students
  • Opportunity for global experiences

"Education must be concerned not only with studies, but also with whatever may be required for the right ordering of life and requirements of cultivated society."

— St. Madeline Sophie Barat