Students at Prep arrive at school in various ways. Some of us take the busses from Manhattan Beach. Many families carpool, and some students drive themselves.
One thing that distinguishes daily life at our school is that there are no bells. There are clocks in every classroom and at the corners of buildings, so we don't have any trouble getting from class to class on time. It's nice not to hear the jarring sound of a bell all the time.
We start school every day at 8 AM with a short meeting. We hear school news and announcements about club meetings, special events, volunteer opportunities, and sports competitions. Our Student Council officers run the meetings. Here's what they are:
- Mondays--Students and faculty All School Morning Meeting
- Thursdays--Middle School Morning Meeting
- Fridays--Upper School Morning Meeting
- Wednesdays--Students Meet with their Advisors for 10 Minutes
We have four academic periods each day. Three of them are one hour and ten minutes, and one, the second, is 90 minutes long. We have three periods before lunch and one after lunch. The schedule rotates through the week, so that we have fewer but longer classes each day. It's less stressful because we do not waste time running from one room to another and we can ask questions and go into more depth in each class.
There is a morning break of 12 minutes, when clubs sell healthy snacks and we hang out with our friends. We order lunch in advance from Kelly's Corner (they have good sandwiches) or from Lei's Bon Appetit. Some kids bring their own lunches, and parents sell pizza every Monday. We eat lunch at picnic tables with umbrellas for shade all around the campus.
Most clubs meet at lunchtime once a week, and there are other activities like chess tournaments and movie showings. You can usually go see a teacher for extra help during the lunch period if you need it. The teachers here are very helpful.
During the 5th period every day, from 2:50-3:45 PM we have physical education, athletics, or practice for theater, chorus, or band. There are so many things we can do -- lots of different sports and extra-curricular activities. PE, soccer and football take place on our own really nice athletic fields. Volleyball and basketball happen at our gym in Torrance, and there's a bus to take teams there. Dance students take the bus to the San Pedro School of Ballet.
If we are signed up, we can go to the After School Program from 4:00-5:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. There is always a teacher from every grade level there to help with homework and studying.
If you are in Middle School, you get from one to two hours of homework each night, and Upper Schoolers from two to three, although it varies, depending on the night. The teachers have a test board so that we don't have more than two tests or large projects due on the same day.
On Tuesday afternoon we have a special period for individual or group study, or to get help from teachers. Teachers sometimes teach a special lesson or provide an interesting presentation. Upper School, Honors, or AP courses usually have an extra class during that period.
On Thursday afternoon we have meetings with the other 10 or so students who are in our Advisory Group. During Upper School we have the same Advisor all four years so he or she really gets to know us. Often the Advisors have a group activity to teach a study or organizational skill. Sometimes the Advisor helps us with particular projects or with studying for a test. Some days we do activities from the Character Counts program, and on special occasions we have student performances. Sometimes we just have fun with Spirit Days sponsored by the Student Council.
Monday through Thursday, we finish our last class at 3:45 PM. The early bus leaves at 4:00, to give students time to go to their lockers and make plans with friends; most kids head home then. On Friday Middle School finishes at 2:20, and Upper School at 2:40.
Many students who have extracurricular activities stay for the late bus at 5:30 or have their parents pick them up. It's a busy day in a great school. The teachers really care about the students so we feel good about the time we spend here.