Month: November 2014

School break schedule mirrors the college experience

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I want to address a frequently discussed topic that is particularly appropriate today, the start of our 10-day Thanksgiving Break.  Parents often want to know if they can visit their child and how often.  The short answer is, yes, parents are encouraged to visit campus especially whenever their student is directly participating in an athletic event, drama or music presentation, or special recognition event.  With a Saturday school schedule that often sees classes in session until noon, parents sometimes come up to spend the afternoon on campus or for short, off-campus trips with their child.

The reality is, however, that our breaks and open weekends are so frequent, that parents typically just wait for one of the natural breaks to occur.  Our three major breaks each year, where campus closes are Thanksgiving (this year, November 21-December 1), Christmas (December 19-January 5) and Spring Break (March 6-23).  Interspersed, are 5 long, open weekends where we do not have Saturday class scheduled and students are allowed to return home or visit classmates homes with parental permission. (Please see the academics page on our website for a full year calendar with details) Essentially, there is not longer than a four or five week stretch without an opportunity for our students to have a break off campus.  Of course, with our student body representing 14 countries and over 20 States, many of our students stay on campus through the open weekends.  We plan a lot of activities, on and off campus, for those that stay.

As I have three of my own children in college as we speak, it has occurred to me that this feels very much like the college schedule.  Students are busy with demands and commitments for stretches of time, but there is always some welcome rest and reconnection to friends and family right around the corner.  It is obvious from the feedback from students that the pace of our schedule is great preparation for college and develops our students’ academic stamina and work ethic in a real-world way.  By the time a break begins, like today, our students overwhelmingly feel a hard-earned sense of accomplishment and have sprinted into holiday season.

Speaking of the holiday season, the Admission Office at Oak Hill Academy will be open throughout and I am happy to speak by phone or by email.  Wishing you all the best for a healthy and contented Thanksgiving with your families!