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Utilize an Intensive Learning Session

Intensive learning sessions allow students to catch up on content or explore alternate learning opportunities

Context

Intensive learning sessions are special weeks where regular classes are put on hold and students participate in a wide variety of activities: enrichment, acceleration, interdisciplinary programs, service learning, internships, and remediation activities. Session lengths can vary from one to four weeks and often occur between terms, such as winter or spring break. Sessions can also offer full courses that meet every day to cover a full term’s worth of content to accelerate high achieving students or allow struggling students to retake courses they failed. Some schools hold more than one intensive learning session per year using a calendar like 75/15/75/15. In this model, students take full courses across two 75 day semesters and have two 15 day intensive learning sessions at the end of each semester.

For example, Nueva School, an independent school in San Mateo, CA runs a PK-8 campus and a high school that both offer a six-day intersession for students to develop interdisciplinary exploration with real world experts, extending beyond the usual academic disciplines. Students choose from a catalog of nearly 200 seminars, intensives, and activity sessions offered by 100 presenters.

Student Does

  • Participate in activities based on need (remediation, review, advancement, etc.), as guided by teachers
  • Choose between various activities based on interest

Teacher Does

  • Design the intersession period, creating activities and choices for students
  • Facilitate the various activities and guide students through the session
  • Dedicate time with students based on need and priority

Technology Does

  • Facilitate learning where possible, such as with project-based learning and independent learning