Excellence in Catholic education through foundation and exploration

65 years of leading the way

In September, Bishop Hendricken will mark its 65th year. Since 1959, we’ve been a proud leader in Catholic education with a keen focus on competitively preparing young men for college. Over the course of six decades, however, secondary and higher education has changed immensely.

In reflecting on this evolving landscape, we asked ourselves: how do we best continue to prepare young men for academic success in college? 

Foundation and exploration

The heart of that answer is our Catholic faith. Put simply, we believe a Catholic education can be truly college preparatory in that it provides both a strong liberal arts foundation via the core curriculum, as well as college studies exploration via diverse electives. 

Redefining College Prep

In our 65th year, we’re Redefining College Prep by implementing a new class schedule to create more opportunities for specialized academic programming.

Now, the decades-tested Bishop Hendricken core curriculum will be enhanced and reinvigorated with the addition of electives in a range of fields. 

The 8-Drop-2 Schedule

How it works
  • Addition of Period H, 8 periods total for all students
  • Addition of day to the schedule rotation, 8 days total
  • 2 periods drop each day
  • No period drops 2 days in a row
  • No time changes, no bell changes
  • No lunch period changes
  • No Academy or homeroom changes
Student impact
  • Immediate addition of space for electives and new RIDE-required courses
  • Decreased class sizes depending on course and section
  • Slightly accelerated curriculum with each period meeting 18 fewer times over the Academic Year

2-Phase Implementation

Phase 1

2024-2025 Academic Year
  • Implementation of the 8-drop-2 schedule
  • Phase-in updated graduation requirements for incoming 8th and 9th grade students
  • Offer all electives currently in our course catalog
  • Addition of Technology and Business electives and faculty
  • Introduce new RIDE-required coursework for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors

Phase 2

2025-2026 Academic Year
  • Introduce additional electives and specialized courses based on student-desired fields of study

Updated Graduation Requirements

New graduation requirements will be phased-in beginning with the Classes of 2028 & 2029 for the 2024-2025 Academic Year

Sample Year-by-Year Sample Schedules

2024-2025 Elective Offerings

The following electives will be offered for the 2024-2025 Academic Year and will be scheduled contingent upon class enrollment. All non-AP electives are CP1 level. 

Unless noted with an asterisk (*), all electives are semester-long and worth .5 credits. Full-year electives are worth 1 credits.

Arts

  • Animation
  • AP Music Theory*
  • Ceramics
  • Chorus*
  • Digital Photography
  • Film Studies
  • Guitar
  • History of Rock 'n Roll
  • Intro to Theatre
  • Jazz Band*
  • Laser Cutting
  • Music Technology
  • Piano
  • Studio Art
  • Video Production

Business

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Intro to Business
  • Marketing

Social Sciences

  • AP Government*
  • AP Psychology*
  • Crimonology
  • Criminology II/Law Enforcement
  • Psychology

STEM

  • AP Computer Science Principles*
  • Biotechnology
  • Coding/Cybersecurity
  • Robotics

Structured Study

All 8th Grade SELECT students and freshmen will take a full year of structured study to help hone their time management skills and ease their transition into high school.

Sophomores will be required to take a structured study during the 1st semester. Sophomores may opt for a structured study OR elective during the 2nd semester.

Juniors and seniors may opt for a structured study in place of 1 elective/free period each semester. 

The structured study is 0 credits for all students.

Special Requirement Updates

Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) Requirements

Beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year, all high school students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in three key areas, per RIDE: Civics, Computer Science, and Financial Literacy.

At Bishop Hendricken, all students will be required to take semester courses in each of the three according to the following sequence:

  • Civics (CP1)Taken during Grade 9
  • Computer Science (CP1)Taken during Grade 10
  • Financial Literacy (CP1)Taken during Grade 11
Physical Ed/Health

Beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year, each student will take one semester of Physical Ed/Health each year. During the semester, class will meet each day in the rotation except when the period drops.

Free Periods

Juniors are limited to 2 semesters of free period over the course of the school year. Seniors are limited to 3 semesters of free period over the course of the school year.

Upperclassmen should use their remaining open periods to take electives.

Timeline & FAQs

Student Assembly & Elective Fair

Monday, March 11, 2024 during long period
  • Presentation from the School Leadership Team
  • Q&A with students
  • Students explore the 2024-2025 elective offerings

Family Information Session

Monday, March 11, 2024 @ 6:30pm
Harrop Theater
  • Presentation from the School Leadership Team
  • Q&A with parents, guardians & families
  • Elective fair for families

Course Registrations Due

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 during homeroom
  • Students will select their classes and electives for the 2024-2025 Academic Year

What is Redefining College Prep?

Redefining College Prep is a new academic initiative aimed at combining a liberal arts foundation via the core curriculum with college studies exploration via diverse electives. 

By implementing a new class schedule, students will have more opportunities to take specialized academic programming alongside Bishop Hendricken’s traditional core curriculum.

Why the changes?

For several years, we’ve been taking inventory of our academic curriculum and offerings to ensure the strength of our programs. In receiving invaluable feedback from students, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and the changing secondary and higher education landscape, we saw an opportunity to diversify our academic experience and better prepare students for college.

What will this mean immediately?

Beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year, an 8-drop-2 schedule will be implemented, meaning each student will have 1 additional period each school year. The addition of that period will immediately create space in a student’s schedule for something new depending on their grade. You can view sample year-by-year schedules above.

How will the updated graduation requirements work?

In the 2024-2025 Academic Year, All incoming 8th Grade SELECT students and freshmen will immediately begin coursework according to the updated graduation requirements. 

All sophomores and juniors will be grandfathered into the existing graduation requirements with the addition of their grade level’s RIDE-required courses. 

All seniors will be grandfathered into their existing graduation requirements.

How much more work will this be for students?

Obviously, the addition of another period means more classes, and therefore, more time and effort from students and faculty. However, the goal of electives is to be exploratory and project-based in nature, meaning there will not be the same out-of-school expectations as core curriculum courses. 

How much time will be lost in classes due to the addition of Period H?

Each class period will meet 18 fewer times over the school year in order to create space for Period H in the schedule.

As a result, faculty will be prepared to make adjustments to curriculum and pacing to account for fewer class meetings. Adjustments will be appropriate to the grade and academic level of each course.  

What does the school day look like?

In the new 8-drop-2 schedule, there are no changes to the duration of periods, the bell schedule, or lunches.

With the addition of Period H, all students will have 8 periods and 2 of those periods will drop each day. The schedule is designed so that no period drops 2 days in a row.

Will a class drop 2 days in a row?

No! The schedule is designed so that no class drops 2 days in a row.

How many electives will a student take?

This is completely up to each student! All students are required to take a bare minimum of 2.5 credits of electives and .5 credits of an arts elective to graduate from Bishop Hendricken. 

Upperclassmen are limited to the number of free periods they’re permitted to take each year, meaning juniors and seniors will have open periods to fill. Some may elect to fill open periods with additional Modern Language, Science, or Social Studies courses. Other may choose to fill those open periods with electives.

How much credit is each elective worth?

Most electives will be semester courses and worth .5 credits. Year-long electives will be worth 1 credits. Students must take at least 2.5 credits of electives to graduate from Bishop Hendricken.

What academic level are the electives?

With the exception of the specific Advanced Placement (AP) courses, all electives are CP1 level. 

What electives are being offered?

Bishop Hendricken will offer all electives currently in our course catalog for the 2024-2025 Academic Year. With additional space and time in a student’s schedule, our hope is that more electives are offered and run than ever before possible. All electives will be contingent upon enrollment following course registration. 

Over the next year, we’ll be working with faculty members to develop additional electives to be offered beginning in the 2025-2026 Academic Year. We’ll provide updates on that process as it moves forward. 

Why don't underclassmen have more opportunity for electives?

The current course sequence is intentionally designed to allow students progressively more choice as they matriculate.

The structured study is specifically intended for underclassmen in an effort to help hone their student time management skills and ease their transition into high school. 

Once students become upperclassmen, their schedules become more flexible to allow for college exploration via electives.

What are the new Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) requirements?

Beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year, all high school students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in three key areas, per RIDE: Civics, Computer Science, and Financial Literacy.

At Bishop Hendricken, all incoming students will be required to take semester courses in each of the three according to the following sequence: Civics for Grade 9, Computer Science for Grade 10, and Financial Literacy for Grade 11. These will go into effect for each grade level beginning in 2024-2025. 

Students will not be required to take RIDE required courses that predate them. To see which RIDE required courses your son will be mandated to take based on their grade level in the 2024-2025 Academic Year, view the year-by-year schedules above.

Upperclassmen may take RIDE required courses that predate them as electives. 

What is the structured study?

The structured study is being introduced as a means to uphold academic rigor by allowing students time and space to hone their study skills. The structured study will meet each day in the rotation except when the period drops.

All 8th Grade SELECT students and freshmen will be required to take a full year of structured study beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year. This will fill 1 of their 8 class periods as part of the new schedule.

Sophomores will be required to take a structured study during the 1st semester beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year. Sophomores may opt for a structured study OR elective during the 2nd semester.

Juniors and seniors may opt for a structured study in place of 1 elective/free period each semester. As a reminder, juniors are limited to 2 semesters of free period over the course of the school year, and seniors are limited to 3 semesters of free period over the course of the school year. 

What is changing with Physical Ed/Health?

Beginning in the 2024-2025 Academic Year, each student will take 1 full semester of Physical Ed/Health each year. During the semester, class will meet each day in the rotation except when the period drops.

Does anything change for Academies?

No! Arts and Leadership Academies will remain unchanged and continue to meet prior to the beginning of the traditional school day. 

Will there be additional fees or tuition for the change?

Absolutely not. There are no additional fees for the implementation of the new schedule and electives.