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We believe in the limitless potential of our students, the boundless creativity of our teachers, and the alchemy of innovation and discovery that happens in our tight-knit school community.


We challenge our students and teachers to think differently. To empathize, explore, hypothesize, problem-solve, and prototype. These skills will be essential for the people who will answer the big questions facing our communities, state, country, and world. 


Our educational model unleashes the full creative and intellectual power of our students, and our warm and welcoming school culture celebrates and maximizes their individual strengths. 


As we emerge from the pandemic, and look ahead to the next decade of Sonoma Academy’s evolution, we share a next iteration of our daily schedule, designed to capitalize on these key values: exploration, risk-taking, leadership (in all stripes and sizes), empathy, and creativity.


While the schedule is not radically different, it will allow us to more robustly deliver some of our core programs and give our students room to incubate, discover, and dive deeply into their passions and interests. 


We are always asking ourselves how we can do what we do even better than before. We believe this new schedule will help us do that, and, as always, we will learn and iterate as necessary.

General Schedule Changes
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Morning start time

To create consistency for teachers, part-time teachers, and students, we eliminated the weekly Friday sleep-in day, but kept the later start time of 8:30 am for all days of the week. 


Wednesday afternoons

Wednesdays will generally be early release days, with classes ending at 2:15 pm. This will allow for staffulty meetings and professional development. Some Wednesday afternoons will be utilized for special programming, workshops, etc.These will be scheduled and announced in advance so parents may plan accordingly. Make-up tests may take place at this time as well.


Community Meeting

Community Meeting is before lunch on Wednesdays and leads into Advisory. There will be class periods after lunch as with other days of the week. This allows for greater consistency.



Advisory is like a home-away-from-home during the school day. A mixed-grade-level group of about 11-12 students + one staffulty advisor, it helps students develop a sense of self and balance in their lives.


Advisory will occur one time per week for half an hour immediately following Community Meeting and before lunch. The longer time-block allows students an opportunity to deepen connections and make more meaningful use of this program.


Office Hours

Teachers dedicate time in the week to offer Office Hours (but also may choose to offer time before or after school, or during lunch) in order to make themselves available to students seeking extra help, clarification, or other academic support.

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There will still be four academic class periods per day,
with the fifth block being utilized for co-curriculars:  
Health & Wellness/PEExploratory, or College Counseling


A key difference, explained further for each program,

is that the co-curricular programs will be scheduled for any of the A-E blocks.

Additionally, the blocks are no longer double periods,

but instead are 65-minute class blocks.


As in our previous schedule, some classes will extend all year, and some will be semester-long. All language classes in Levels I-III will be 40 minutes and each level will be a yearlong class. Levels IV, Honors IV, AP and AS will be semester-long classes for 65 minutes.

Language students will have an extra 25 minute free period at the end of the class block. 



We cherish the opportunity to eat together in our amazing dining facility and give ample time for eating, resting, and socializing together. We also value the ways in which student interest and desire for creative collaboration can flourish in open-ended time. 


Lunch will no longer be split into two time periods and has been extended to be a full hour. This is primarily to allow for more student collaboration time, especially clubs, leadership groups, impact projects, and affinity space meetings. Additionally, community impact projects driven by student interests will also have space in this longer lunch for meetings and collaboration time.

Free Periods/Study Halls

Finding a healthy work-life balance is part of learning how to become an adult. We have always valued providing opportunities throughout the day for students to practice studying independently, collaborating with peers, and taking a much-needed mental break before diving into the next class period.


In the new schedule, students will have an increased amount of free time as they progress through the years. This is intended to help balance the demands of upper level courses and college applications. All students will also have a 40-minute free period on Wednesdays in the block where Exploratory is on other days. All students taking levels I-III languages will have a 25-minute free period after their language class. 11th and 12th grade students will have additional free periods during the semester; some of these times will be when college counselors are available for one-on-one meetings.


Due to the increased amount of free time built into the schedule, we will no longer be offering an Athlete’s Study Hall in place of Exploratory.

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