Intersession gives students opportunities for exploration, risk-taking, travel, community engagement, and leadership.
An 8-day immersive experience that falls after the winter break and before the second semester begins, Intersession is designed to offer students an alternative learning experience. Intersession presents a wide variety of offerings allowing students to dig more deeply into a subject they are already interested in or to investigate a new area of possible interest.
Goals of Intersession
A goal of Intersession is to deepen and expand student knowledge in an in-depth and experiential way. Intersession is also designed to be fun and engaging, allowing students to discover new interests and explore subjects or themes in a way that cannot be accomplished during the normal school day. Intersession courses are decidedly “real world” in the sense that the learning or experiences take place in real world environments and teach real world skills: everything from scientific observation in nature to cooking to backpacking or camping; from yoga and meditation to community service; from real world engineering projects to computer programming to language study in a foreign country.
Intersession encourages exploration, discovery, and risk-taking—all components of becoming a well-rounded person with a love of learning.
While allowing students to immerse themselves into an established passion or discovering new realms, the Intersession program offers additional benefits to students and the school community:
Integration of Grade Levels—Since students select courses based on interest, students who would not otherwise get to know each other find common bonds. 12th grade students share classes with 9th grade students, strengthening the entire community.
Student/Teacher Relationships—Since Intersession courses do not have tests and grades the focus is on learning for learning’s sake. By joining together to explore a common subject, sometimes with the teacher learning side by side with the student, teachers and students get to see and relate to each other in new ways.
Making Use of Local Resources—During intersession teachers are free to arrange off-campus experiences including overnight trips, allowing students to learn more about the greater Bay Area and Northern California.
January—The middle of winter has days with less sunlight and is often rainy. Coming right after winter break it is difficult to get back into the rhythm of the school year. Intersession provides a balanced way to break up the semesters while keeping the focus on learning.
US/International Travel—Sonoma Academy encourages students to explore the world. The Intersession offers the time needed for teachers and students to travel to new places in both the US and other countries. Trips vary from year-to-year and can focus on culture, language acquisition, or the exploration of a particular subject like sustainability or natural sciences.
Select Intersession from the Department list below to see what's being offered this year.