It can probably be agreed upon by many that at Loomis we miss out on a lot of interesting activities because of our very busy schedules. BUT WAIT! The I-term might be a solution.
So what is an I-term? An I-term is a period of time where students would have the opportunity to diverge from their normal academic schedule in order to pursue other interests. These “other interests” could include studying abroad, music intensives, science projects, independent studies, internships, and elective courses. According to Mr. Trenchard, Dean of academic affairs, if the I-term were to be implemented, it would either take place between fall and winter break or sometime at the end of the year. So far the I-term sounds like the perfect opportunity for the students to explore their interests. So why has it yet to be implemented along with the new schedule?
Personally, I could see several reasons that would prompt this delay. To start, an I-term could be quite disruptive to our normal classes. As a student who is currently taking AP French, I have to cover so much material that taking away two or three weeks from such a rapid course seems nearly impossible. I am sure other advanced and AP classes would likely struggle with this issue. Another potential issue is that no school of our size has ever done an I-term. Although smaller schools like Miss Porter’s do actually implement an effective I-term during January, it’s hard to evaluate efficiency once the same term is implemented to our system, considering our school is so much bigger in size. According to Mr. Trenchard, a problem that stems from us being a larger school is that we need to “make sure all students and teachers are involved and engaged, but in reality it is quite an undertaking to make sure both groups are engaged and participating.” We could offer endless opportunities for students to engage in, but we need the all the students to be passionate enough to flourish during and make the best out of such an intense couple of weeks. He also mentioned that an I-term “is by definition disruptive, and we need to make sure the benefits outweigh the disruption; we are not far enough along to make that statement.”
There is no doubt that an I-term would be very disruptive, but having one- at least trying one- definitely seems worthwhile to me. Despite the fact that the I-term poses a lot of challenges, I think that an I-term would be a fabulous opportunity for students to immerse themselves in an activity that would be otherwise impossible to students. An I-term would be such a unique experience that we would have the ability to partake in. Few schools give their students the possibility to do something so out of the ordinary. An I-term would a time to experience something completely foreign to you that you really would be unable to discover during the normal school year. So many different enriching opportunities would be available to us, and I feel that being able to go out of our comfort zone into something new and different would definitely outweigh the ultimate disruption. Many students agree that this sort of program would benefit everyone. The prospect of an I-term is just another example of the special and unique things available to us because we go to Loomis. Few private schools have it, and I find it unlikely that any public schools could have it either.