Each year in the three-week period between Thanksgiving and winter break, DCD middle schoolers experience a valuable opportunity to dive deeply into cross-curricular discussion, research, and hands-on projects through DCD’s Mini-term.

“We have the flexibility in the middle school to create these longer blocks of time,” explains Nate Buffum, Head of the Middle School. “And doing so offers both teachers and students a chance for collaboration in exploring new, innovative ideas.”

This schedule contains extended hour-and-a-half blocks for Science and Humanities classes, bringing English and History subjects together, and maximizing the potential of this unique window of time in the school year.

“It’s very helpful, because Fall Term can be very intense,” Mr. Buffum says. “And when you otherwise might have students overwhelmed or exhausted, this instead offers them a reboot.”

Coming together as a grade, 6th-8th graders have the opportunity in Mini-term to break out of their usual routines, moving between large-scale, tangible projects on which they collaborate with their peers and draw connections across distinct subjects.

“It’s just a different way to be,” says Mr. Buffum. “We see it as a chance to reassess not only how you learn, but also how you think. And you have the ability to try something out that you’ve never done, and to dive deeply into subjects you otherwise wouldn’t.”

By winter break, each of these courses will draw to a close, but not before they’ve laid a strong foundation for the material that will be studied and the thought-processes that will be exercised in the upcoming Spring Term.

Keep an eye on our social media to step inside the classroom for some of these special projects!