What is a Semester School?
Semester school is a term used to describe a school that complements a student’s secondary education by providing them with the opportunity to step out of their regular school for half an academic year and step into a uniquely different educational setting while continuing their required academic studies. The academic curriculum at semester schools tends to be college preparatory, interdisciplinary, and experiential.
Conserve School is proud to be a member of the Semester Schools Network.
- Typical Semester School Characteristics
- Benefits of a Semester School
- Semester Schools Network Members
- Other Semester Schools
- Semester school curricula are built around themes including environmental sustainability, marine ecology, organic farming, ethics and leadership, visual arts, and others. The curricula tend to be place-based drawing on the resources and opportunities of each school's unique location.
- Semester schools are boarding schools. Community living is a key element of the experience. Through living closely with peers and teachers and working together to benefit the school community students develop their communication, leadership, and cooperative skills.
- Semester schools enroll college bound sophomores, juniors, and or seniors. Most semester schools focus primarily on students from just one grade level.
- Semester school programs run from 14 to 18 weeks.
- Semester schools tend to be small, enrolling from 15 to 60 students a semester with average class sizes ranging from 5 to 15 students.
- Semester schools are private schools that charge tuition and offer financial aid. Depending on the school and a student’s family situation the cost can range from no cost to several thousands of dollars.
- Most semester schools are located in the United States.
Attending a semester school can:
- Intensify a student’s interest in and motivation for learning.
- Allow a student to pursue a special area of interest in depth.
- Complement a student's education with experiences that aren't available at their home school.
- Broaden a student’s range of skills and interests and increase their maturity level.
- Give students a head start on developing the independence, good judgment, and life skills necessary for living away from home before they leave for college.
- Provide students with a unique, eye-catching experience that sets them apart from other applicants when applying to colleges.
- Provide students from public schools a boarding school experience without the cost or time commitment of a four-year school.
- Alzar School is located near Cascade, Idaho, United States.
- Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki is located near Wiscasset, Maine, United States.
- CITYterm located in New York City, New York, United States.
- Coastal Studies for Girls is located near Freeport, Maine, United States.
- The Island School is located at Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas.
- The Mountain School is located near Vershire, Vermont, United States.
- The Outdoor Academy is located near Pisgah Forest, North Carolina, United States.
- Oxbow School is located near Napa, California, United States.
- HMI Semester is located near Leadville, Colorado, United States.
- The Traveling School for Girls takes girls to Africa and South or Central America.
- The School for Ethics and Global Leadership is located in Washington, D.C., United States.
- Hawai'i Outdoors Institute Semester School, focused on sustainability, environmental conservation, leadership, culture, and community service, is located near Honoka'a, Hawaii, United States.
- Kroka Semester Programs, an expeditionary semester program based out of Marlow, New Hampshire.
- School in the Woods, a semester school for science and art, is located near Ivoryton, Connecticut, United States.