Savannah Country Day Middle School Introduces Mini-mester

December 20, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
(Savannah Country Day School, Savannah, Ga.) Tuesday, January 23, 2007, The Savannah Country Day Middle School will introduce a mini-mester into its curriculum. The mini-mester program allows students one week per school year to engage in in-depth study of a particular subject area, topic, or skill without the restrictions of traditional assessment.

Students can opt for three 2-hour sessions for one week, one 4-hour and a 2-hour session for the entire week, or day-long full week sessions. The day-long format will be team-taught by teachers in two or three different disciplines.

According to Headmaster Tom Bonnell, one of our major goals as a school is not only to excite kids about learning, but to help them discover their gifts and talents. This may take place in an English or math class, but it may also happen in one of the unique learning experiences mini-mester makes possible.

Session topics cover a variety of fields and interests. Among the thirteen course offerings, topics include sports journalism, baking, songwriting and music production, forensics, archaeology, and the stock market. Input from teachers as well as the Middle School students themselves was used to determine the courses offered.

The mini-mester method of teaching allows for varied approaches, freedom of movement, and experiential learning. It enables students to study topics of interest in more depth than the traditional academic curriculum allows. In addition, the mini-mester program encourages parents and members of the community at large to become involved and share their expertise.

“Through the mini-mester program, students are exposed to areas of study that could influence career decisions later in life. The mini-mester courses require them to use critical thinking skills but also to think creatively and to collaborate with one another,” holds Middle School Principal Marcia Hull. “Further, the Middle Schoolers will be interacting with not just teachers, but with parents and members of the community who have a passion about something that they want to share with students.

The mini-mester will conclude with projects or presentations by the participating students. By discarding the restrictions of traditional teaching and grading, the mini-mester seeks to excite and inspire students to think critically and creatively. By allowing students freedom of choice of topics, the mini-mester program embraces learning differences in each child.