Written by Kate Harvey, Duchesne Upper School Student
Duchesne Academy has one of the most unique class schedules in the entire state of Texas. It’s called the mod schedule and it allows students to take many unique classes while still having time for life outside of school.
What is a Mod Schedule?
The mod schedule splits up classes into four different periods a day. Each class is 80 minutes long, instead of the short 45-minute class periods found at most schools. There are 6 six-week mods in a year. Students build their own schedules and are given a wide variety of electives to choose from including fine arts, computer science, world languages, and more. However, if you know you'll need more time to study, you can always make room for a free period or two and it's recommended that you do so!
Advantages of the Mod Schedule
Because of the extended 90-minute classes, there is more time to learn and focus on the subject. Personally, this helps me a lot, because I have a little bit of trouble focusing sometimes so it's nicer to have a longer class period where I can fully get into the right mindset for learning. Because of the extended class times, we only have four classes a day. This means fewer classes assigning homework for each night. I will admit that the homework load is not less, but it allows you to go more into depth on each subject and to really apply what you've learned to other classes.
Each class period, which we call a bin, equals one credit. Some classes are two or three credits, so students take them over multiple bins during the year. But don't let this stress you! Classes are carefully curated to make sure so that you can take just about any class you want without it conflicting with a core class. However, if you need help, Duchesne has a wonderful staff and academic advisors that will be perfectly willing to help you with any problems you might encounter!
Instead of sticking to the mainstream "freshman class" subjects, or "junior class" subjects, Duchesne offers a wide variety of classes for each subject so that you can choose the topic that interests you the most! For example, some of our English classes are "Shakespeare in Love and Action," "Brontë's in Depth," and "Rhetoric: Language & Persuasion." Each class allows you to go more in-depth into the particular subject and all connect together at the end to form an overarching theme in literature. However, these unique classes aren't just limited to English! Duchesne also has classes such as "Forensic Science,” “The Physics of Harry Potter,” “Money Talks,” and “More About the Matrix than Keanu Reeves Could Teach You: An Introduction to Linear Algebra," and those are just the tip of the iceberg.
For my junior year schedule, I chose two extracurriculars. They are AP music theory and an introductory class to professional essay/research paper writing. I chose the second class as a way to help me get up to speed before writing my junior research paper and taking the PSAT. (I did a similar thing in my sophomore year where I took the SAT/ACT prep class before taking the practice PSAT.) I’m taking AP music theory because I enjoy music and wanted to take a more educational music class at school.
I have loved the mod schedule experience so far and I'm looking forward to taking more classes with it!