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Intersession program gives NDB community a mental health break



the Editorial Staff

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During the last week of February, the NDB community got a well-deserved mental health break from their regularly scheduled classes and work schedules for Intersession.

It is a weeklong program that happens every other school year where faculty and staff members teach courses about topics they feel passionate about, but do not really get to share during the regular school year.  Courses are proposed and then some are approved earlier in the  year based on their academic value and connection to the school’s hallmarks.

Students have a wide range of courses to select from that are held both on and off-campus throughout the week.

The on-campus courses included cooking, jewelry-making, and scrapbooking, to name just a few.

Taking a break from his usual Ultimate Frisbee course, English teacher Adam Currier taught a class on hip hop music for the first time.  His students not only listened to and analyzed the music, but looked at the impact the genre has had on culture and history.

  Some courses were held off-campus, including college and museum visits up and down the peninsula, hikes in the local hills, mountains, and forests, and the popular Kairos retreat.

Some teachers took their students on travels out of the Bay Area. Spiritual Life teacher Ynez Manalo lead a group of twelve freshmen and sophomores down to East L.A. in Southern California for an immersion trip where they participated in community service activities and visited various places, including the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Griffith Observatory, and Homeboy Industries.

Manalo said, “Our group had a great time learning about the East Los Angeles community and volunteering our time at various organizations. What was most inspiring was hearing the students share that it was a life changing experience and that it encouraged them to appreciate what they have and commit to serving others in their daily lives.”

There were a few other NDB groups in SoCal during the week.

English teacher Robert Rojas, Humanities teacher Rebecca Fisher, and Science teacher Abi Vega took twenty sophomores and juniors to visit colleges, including Chapman University, LMU, UCLA, and USC.   At each school, they met with NDB alumnae who spent time talking about their experiences at their new schools and catching up with how things are going at their alma mater.

The group also visited Disneyland and Universal Studios.

Athletics Director Jason Levine and the NDB Spirit Squad headed to Anaheim for the USA Spirit Nationals. The Varsity Cheer team took third place in the 2018 USA Nationals Medium Show Cheer Novice, while the Varsity Pom team took the 2018 USA Nationals Champions in Medium Song Pom Novice.

Some teachers and students traveled even further.  Social Sciences teacher Stefane Barile took students on Tiny Hours Tours in Portland, Oregon, while Senior Class Co-Moderator Mirna Yao took students on a tour of New York City.  Spiritual Life teacher Kristen Menzel and Math teacher Doug Vierra took students to Paris, France.

Students also had the option to sign up for a family trip and design their own educational experience. They are required to document their trip and then present the evidence to teachers when they return to school.

Junior Michelle Kleytman went on a family trip to the east coast, visiting colleges, and meeting their water polo coaches.

She says, “It was great learning about the water polo programs that the schools have to offer.  Intersession gave me the time to rank the colleges on my list.”

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Intersession program gives NDB community a mental health break