TIME TOGETHER AWAY FROM SCHOOL:
Intersession gives students opportunities for exploration, risk-taking, travel, community engagement, and leadership, allowing them to deepen and expand their knowledge in an in-depth and experiential way.
Typically an 8-day immersive experience, Intersession is a time when students can dig deeply into a subject they are already interested in or investigate a new area of possible interest. Intersession is also designed to be fun and engaging, creating space for students to discover new interests and explore subjects or themes in a way that cannot be accomplished during the normal school day.
The Covid pandemic interrupted Intersession for multiple years. As a result, for two years, we scheduled Intersession at the end of the school year in May, hoping to be in the best possible position for in-person activities and travel/field trip opportunities.
For the 2022-23 school year, we will return to holding Intersession in January just after the Winter Break. This provides an optimal break between the semesters. Some Intersession trips may still be scheduled for Spring Break.
See the Revised/New Key Dates for a look at how this shift will impact the school year schedule.
We have found that there are optimal times throughout the year to gather each grade level together for an overnight or extended retreat, in addition to simpler grade-level days that allow students to bond and connect as a class. To maximize these opportunities, as well as to mitigate potential cancellations due to things like smoke/fire season, water levels (for rafting/kayaking-type retreats), etc., we will stagger grade level retreats through the year.
9th Grade Retreat: Two days in August, no overnight
The 9th grade will have a two day retreat at the beginning of the year, but no overnight. We find that an overnight camping retreat at the beginning of the year is very stressful for our new students, but two days spent in fun activities helps them establish friendships and feel comfortable with their new classmates.
One day will be spent at a local ropes course building teamwork and getting out of one's comfort zone. The day will end with dinner before students come home. Freshmen will return the next day for activities on campus designed to connect with each other and set intentions for the year.
10th Grade Retreat: One day in August; overnight retreat mid-year
Sophomores will have a one-day experience to start the year. They will gather on the SA campus for activities, fun, bonding, and intention-setting. One day on-campus retreats have a fun, festive feeling and are a great way for students to bond at the beginning of the year. In early March, sophomores will set out for an overnight mid-year retreat where they will reflect on the sophomore year experience, and ponder what it will be like to be upperclassmen in the months ahead. We have found that this mid-year retreat comes at a pivotal time in the high school journey and really helps sophomores begin the transition to upper level students.
11th Grade Retreat: Two day overnight in August
The beginning of the year is a great time for juniors to get away on a two-day overnight retreat with each other and set the stage for this often challenging academic year. This is an opportunity for the class to deepen their relationships and set their intentions as upper level students.
12th Grade Retreat: One day in August; overnight retreat at the end of the year
Seniors will have a one-day experience to reunite after the summer and begin the year as school leaders. They will be on campus for a day-long picnic enjoying activities and each other's company. Seniors will end the year with our annual pilgrimage to the American River for an overnight retreat including white water rafting. This is a great way for seniors to celebrate their accomplishments and the end of their high school journey.