Introduced as an innovation in 2006, Notre Dame’s trimester system divides the school year into three equal terms. Each class period is 57 minutes long; beginning with traditional instruction and moving into interactive group activities that tap into “male adolescent energy” and enhance learning.
Because class time is longer, some courses can be taught in two rather than three terms, thereby giving students more options for electives – or the chance to create further academic advantages for themselves through Advanced Placement or college courses.
Since its introduction in 2006, data shows an overall increase in learning. Average exam scores and semester grades have risen across the board. While the number of students making the honor roll has risen, the trend is actually the opposite of grade inflation. We’ve challenged our students to stretch themselves academically, and they are doing so with enthusiasm. Thanks to strong student engagement, absences, late arrivals, and withdrawals have all declined during the transition to the trimester schedule.