Because we are a small school of only 75 students (by design), we can be very flexible with our scheduling of the instructional day so as to take advantage of the many learning experiences that arise on a weekly basis in a place like Tucson. That being said – we do use a ‘Weekly Schedule Template’ (see below) as a starting point as we implement our instructional program from week to week where blocks of time are grouped to support interdisciplinary, project-based learning.
The ‘instructional day’ begins at 8:30 am every day that school is in session. Students may be dropped off at school earlier (the building is open with light supervision by 7:45 am each day) but the instructional day officially begins at 8:30 am with the whole school, community meeting. When a student is dropped off, they must come downstairs immediately (no waiting around in front of the school). This is school policy for safety reasons and there will be no exceptions.
The instructional day ends at 3:30 pm every day except on Wednesday. Unless otherwise instructed by their parents, students are to be picked up between 3:30-3:45 pm. on M, T, TH, and F. Any student still waiting for pick up at 3:45 pm must come downstairs and when parents arrive after 3:45 pm they must come downstairs to retrieve their young person. This is school policy (again for safety reasons) and there will be no exceptions. On Wednesdays school ends at 1:45 pm and parents are to pick-up their young people between 1:45-2:00 pm. The PFFS-Downtown staff meeting begins at 2:00 pm. Students cannot stay at the school on Wednesday afternoons – no exceptions.
We do not recommend that students hang out by themselves downtown after school, however, one safe meeting place they can go to is the Joel D. Valdez Main Library. The library welcomes young people and has designated spaces for both children and teenagers to gather. However, it is important that our young people observe proper library etiquette, namely, they should use inside voices, no running or horseplay and while food is allowed, it should be brought in moderation and no mess should be left behind.
Our AfterSchool program is available every day except Wednesdays from 3:45-5:00 pm (no AfterSchool on Weds). To participate in this program parents must sign-up their young person using the AfterSchool Form. AfterSchool is fee-based but financial aid is available. Each year a variety of AfterSchool clubs may be offered as well, depending on student interest and the availability of adult supervision.
As a structure that we certainly tweak from time to time, the Weekly Schedule Template provides an extended block of instructional time called Learning-in-Community (“LIC”) in the morning. Literacy is used for Sustained Silent Reading or academic support. In the afternoon, students are in both Math or English Language Arts (a combination of writer’s workshop and writing/reading support connected to the LIC curriculum). Flow Lab happens at the end of each day. Each student will get an individualized playlist for this time comprised of a personalized mix of electives, independent learning projects and supplementary academic support. Advisory occurs three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.