Intersession week should be ski week

Unlike most Bay Area private schools, NDB has Intersession every other year, instead of a ski week around the President’s Day three-day weekend break. Its intent is for students to explore new subjects and take weeklong elective classes. However, a traditional ski week where students can stay home would be a better use of their time. 

Intersession is unfair to students who cannot afford to participate in a school-organized away trip or whose parents are unable to take time off for a school-approved “family trip.” Why should some students be able to spend their Intersession touring Europe with their friends or relaxing on the beach with their family, while others are at school doing a random class just to fill the time that week? Time with family and friends is valuable, no matter the location. So, why should those who cannot go on a trip not be allowed to spend their Intersession at home with their families?

The biennial scheduling of Intersession contributes to unnecessary stress for students. During Intersession years, teachers cram or rush to complete their curriculum having one less week of classes. Although a week out of a year may seem insignificant, it has a large effect on the pace of each course. 

In addition, this schedule favors the purple and red classes in terms of college trips. Sophomore year is often too early to really know what kinds of colleges one is interested in. Sure, these trips can help expose students to different kinds of schools: Large versus small, private versus public, etc., but tours to specific schools are best done during junior year when most students have a better idea of which colleges they would like to apply to. 

By the time Intersession happens again and these sophomores are seniors, the majority of their college applications have already been submitted, but regular admissions decisions have not come out. For most seniors, going on a college tour in mid-February is pointless because it is too late to apply, but it is also too soon to use the tour to help decide whether or not to go there. Ideally, Intersession should occur annually, so that students have the flexibility of all four years to look at colleges. 

A February break is important for students to destress and, with a true break, rather than an Intersession, students can fully enjoy this time and use it productively.