Oak Hill Blog

Oak Hill Academy’s “Wintermester” combats “Brain Drain”

Have you ever heard of “brain drain”?  It’s the phenomenon whereby students “lose” some portion of their academic content knowledge during extended leaves (think summer) from school.  While experts disagree about exactly where this lost knowledge goes or how much of it dissipates, one thing is true:  Brain drain is a real phenomenon and anyone who has spent time in a classroom (either teaching or learning) knows it.  Truly, and particularly with middle and high school students, when it comes to content knowledge, if you don’t use it, you can lose it … or at least some of it.  That’s precisely why the folks here at Oak Hill Academy decided to take full advantage of our extended mid-year break.  We’re calling it “Wintermester,” and even though our students are away from campus for several weeks, we’re offering them LOTS of opportunity to combat brain drain–with a brain boost!

In November we sat down as a faculty and asked ourselves what short, interesting Wintermester courses we could offer that would be useful to our students.  We chose four options.

The best thing about these courses is that they carry academic credit and are being taught remotely. And despite what you might think, they have turned out to be very popular among our students.

So the next time you think that high-schoolers just want to sit around during the winter holidays, refer to Oak Hill Academy’s successful model of engagement.  If you offer something interesting, taught by an excellent faculty, and attach some value to it (like academic credit), you can watch students continue to flourish and grow–even outside the classroom.

Todd Giszack
Oak Hill Academy

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