Vianney's two-semester, college-style schedule is much more than the mere restructuring of time. Learning within the block is a shift in the methodology of education.
In the two-semester, college-style schedule, a student takes more control of his education by being actively involved in the learning process. The environment fosters better interpersonal relationships, heightened critical thinking and stronger problem-solving skills, and allows students time for reflection.
The schedule is designed to reduce some of the obstacles that interfere with student achievement, such as insufficient time for in-depth thought, high stress levels and fragmented instruction.
- Four 85-minute academic periods provide time for in-depth focus and exploration.
- One 30-minute daily "encore" period provides students time to seek extra help, work ahead, participate in a co-curricular activity or attend a communion service.
- Teachers can give more personal attention to each student because they have fewer students each semester.
- Extended class time enables teachers the opportunity to develop lessons that offer more variety and in-depth thought.
- Students take eight courses per year (four per semester) and graduate with 32 credits, among the highest in the Midwest.
- The 32-credit requirement provides the opportunity to include an array of Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced College Credit (ACC) and Honors courses in the student's schedule.
- As part of a college preparatory program, the schedule more closely represents what students can expect during their post-secondary studies in a college or university setting.
- By using the two-semester, college-style format, students complete full credits in one semester. Therefore, students wishing to excel academically can fit up to 5 or 6 years of a given core subject into four years of school.
Class periods are long enough to allow for quality learning experiences that are less likely to occur in a shortened period. Activities are usually alternated within a class period for variety:
- Student presentations
- In-depth laboratory experiments
- Concentrated writing projects
- Practice time for difficult concepts
- Guest speakers
- Teacher directed learning activities
- Exam-like testing conditions
- Time for meaningful research simulations
- Cooperative learning
- Role playing