In May 2017 students and faculty at Lincoln Academy will embark on a new learning adventure: a three-week long period called “Eagle Term,” where the LA students will take short courses that differ significantly from the typical high school curriculum.
Registration for 2017 Eagle Term classes is currently underway. This is the first year of the May term program, which administration and faculty have been planning for two and a half years. Head of School David Sturdevant started a May Term, now in its seventh year, at his former school, and he brought the idea with him to LA.
Eagle Term gives students a chance to take courses that may not normally fit in their schedule. It gives faculty members a chance to pilot a course or present a topic that may become part of a new course. It allows teachers to work together–team teaching courses that combine two or more curricular areas—and it gives them a chance to teach a topic, either in or out of their normal subject area, about which they are passionate. In general, because Eagle Term courses are new and different, the term renews students and teachers energy to learn and teach as they complete the school year.
Courses are divided into three categories: Humanities, Arts and Wellness, and STEM. Students must pick at least one course from the Humanities and one from the STEM offerings.
The school day during Eagle Term is divided into four periods, and students may take four one-period courses or two two-period courses. Several courses cover three periods, so students may take such a course and one other.
Juniors register first, followed by sophomores, and then by freshmen. All students must take Eagle Term courses their freshman, sophomore, and junior years in order to graduate. Students have the option to take credit recovery courses in English, math, and science, giving students who have a non-passing grade in a course the opportunity to earn credit they missed during the year.
Students also have the opportunity to take booster courses, which, once successfully completed, will allow them to move to a higher level course in a subject the following year. The Lincoln Academy faculty proposed 113 different courses, and after students completed an interest survey, 84 separate courses will be offered, some with multiple sections.
“Eagle Term will be an integral part of LA students’ education. We are working to expose them to a broader range of curricular experiences as they prepare for life after high school,” said David Sturdevant. “We are pleased to be partnering with community members and local organizations to facilitate some of the new courses. In some cases, students will be traveling off campus to learn and apply new skills.”
Courses range from the History, Art, and Music of Cuba to Introduction to Horticulture, (partnering with the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay); from Just Off Broadway to Small Space Gardening; from SAT Math Prep to Forensic Science; from Astronomy to Financial Planning; from Intro to Health Professions to Soccer; from Wilderness First Aid to The Physics of Martial Arts.
Seniors will graduate from Lincoln Academy in the first week of June as they have in past years, and will not participate in Eagle Term courses. During the weeks of Eagle Term, they will present their traditional senior shrine projects, complete marching practices, and participate in community service projects.
Sturdevant continued, “in addition, we will add several sessions for seniors, including speakers who will talk to them about how to establish and keep credit, how to apply for a loan, how to start a business, how to prepare for a job interview, what to expect in the first days of going to college or taking on a new job, and other skills they will need after high school.”
Eagle Term course assignments will be distributed after February vacation, and Sturdevant anticipates that both students and teachers will enjoy the possibilities of the program. “While the new term deviates a bit from the traditional Lincoln Academy schedule, and presents some challenges, students and faculty are excited about the offerings and the possibilities to explore new and varied topics.”