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Personalized Experiential Learning

place Canada

A school timetable designed to prioritize student learning and well-being

An innovative timetable can promote wellbeing and opportunities to pursue passions - in and out of class. Our timetable consists of 2 courses, followed by 5 courses and then 1 experiential course. Longer class periods allow for deep learning; field trips/travel; authentic projects with local partners; greater access to courses. Fewer concurrent courses encourage higher co-curricular participation.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
Students upper
March 2024
We hope to see students who understand how they learn and who are engaged in learning through building skills and mastering complex content; students know their strengths and how to leverage them as well as understand what is needed for personal improvement; students are empowered to follow their passions and enrol in courses that interest them and propel them into successful future studies.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

As we implemented a competency based curriculum, the traditional timetable with shorter classes made it difficult for students to balance their desire to manage challenging courseloads with extensive cocurricular involvement. We wanted to create a culture that prioritized learning over grades; a timetable change with fewer concurrent courses and improved lesson design benefited student wellbeing.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Students take fewer concurrent classes, allowing them to balance coursework and robust cocurricular participation; data shows an increase in co-curricular participation, improved wellness and an increase in most course averages, including AP courses. Our government mandated competency based curriculum has allowed significant changes to occur in lesson/unit design. Teacher planning is purposeful and takes advantage of 2.5hr classes in trimester 1; 1.5hr classes in trimester 2; and all day classes in the 3rd for 4 weeks. The same course can run in each trimester, but the learning is designed to suit the length of class period. The timetable allows for additional personalization including acceleration or the ability to select certain courses in trimesters that best support how the student learns. Our 1st and 3rd trimester courses have more field trips, a greater variety of assessment types and opportunities to travel as part of the course.

How has it been spreading?

We had not realized the benefits would be seen so quickly post-pandemic especially related to student wellbeing improvements; higher class averages and participation in cocurriculars. Further, teachers have fewer concurrent students in this schedule. This means relationships are built faster allowing for identification of student learning needs/supports sooner and learning can be personalized within the classes.
Future goals include competency based professional development and effective planning for longer classes; more education for our parent community to build an understanding of why school looks different than it looked when they were in high school and increased partnerships in the community.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

This requires a whole school shift. Examining the timetable & setting priorities (ours: student health; increase depth of learning experiences; access to breadth of course offerings) is a start. Be prepared: to truly prioritize student learning, a small change is not enough. Contact: Jennifer Dousett, Director of Teaching, Learning & Innovation (

Implementation steps

Set Priorities and Examine potential for change
1. set priorities for student learning; 2. examine research in support of priorities; 3. convene committee to investigate and represent each department; 4. develop 2-5 possible timetables in small teams, present and gather feedback; 5. iterate and select timetable; 6. plan and implement into school's course planning; 8. build timetable to accommodate changes *our timeline was fast due to covid but a year of professional learning/planning would be ideal

Spread of the innovation

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