Instead of a traditional schedule with six or seven classes each day for a semester, CTA divides the year into seven four- or five-week blocs. During each bloc a student enrolls in only three academic classes, each one lasting ninety minutes daily. Students are capable of making rapid academic progress when they can immerse themselves in an intensive classroom experience. The feeling of accomplishment at the conclusion of the bloc is significant, both for students and teachers.
Another intent of the bloc system is to provide a wide variety of classes in order to sustain high levels of academic interest. CTA offers twenty-one class options over the course of the school year. In academic areas which require a continuity of exposure and experience, such as foreign language, several consecutive blocs are required. Students are expected to put forth effort in only a four- or five-week span, whereas a longer period of time with one subject may only frustrate and intimidate a student. By providing frequent new challenges, students are better able to retain academic curiosity.