School Plans Inaugural Three-day Intersession

Start of second semester to feature block period workshops, teacher-planned lectures


Students will attend a three-day Intersession at the beginning of next semester, going to nine 90-minute blocks based on what grade they’re in. Anne Schill.

By Emma Kwan and Mayu Alten

January Intersession, a three-day program where students will attend multiple assemblies about life skills, will start when students return from Holiday Recess on Wednesday, January 3.

Every grade level is assigned a different schedule, with each day split up into three 90-minute blocks, similar to a Wednesday. All students will attend three types of blocks: Student Choice, Class Conversations and Scheduling and Grade Specific.  


  1. Student Choice blocks
    Students will choose to attend two Student Choice Sessions, which give teachers the chance to teach specialized classes that stem from passions they have outside of school. Some teachers also hope to use their classes as introductions to courses that may be offered at Los Altos in the future. Physics teacher Stephen Hine proposed a 3D Printing and Modeling session to introduce students to his new equipment.“I’d walk them through some basic modeling techniques and have them create [their own models],” Hine said.English teacher Carrie Abel hopes to teach a beginner’s yoga class as she is getting her yoga trainer credentials this year. The class would promote a possible yoga class Abel proposed as an alternative to P.E., similar to Jazz Dance.
  2. Class Conversations and Scheduling blocks:
    Faculty will discuss course scheduling with students for their upcoming school year. Freshmen will have two blocks of Class Conversations while all other grades with have three blocks. Administrators cited the opportunity to help students choose classes wisely as a primary reason for the creation of Intersession. After Class Conversations, students will attend a scheduling block to sign up for courses with their counselors so that administrators can finish master schedules earlier in the year.

    “[It] lets students schedule for their classes by being much more informed about classes beforehand,” Assistant Principal Suzanne Woolfolk said. “That’s a big portion of it. And it makes those days really important.”

  3. Grade Specific Blocks
    The remaining blocks will vary depending on a student’s grade, with each class attending specific lectures and workshops:



  • Challenge Day: Freshmen will participate in three blocks of an all-day community bonding series of activities where they’ll address difficult topics to create an open environment where they feel comfortable.
  • Jumpstart Mentorship: A program started by Student Community Leaders (SCL), Jumpstart Mentorship aims to help freshmen assimilate to high school better and give them resources through a peer.
  • Affirmative Consent: Author and sexual assault expert Anea Bogue will give the presentation she gave last year, talking about yes means yes consent and how to prevent sexual assault.


  • College/Career Workshop: Students will be introduced to how the college and job-seeking processes work and resources they can access on campus.
  • Bystander Presentation: Bogue will give a continuation of her “Affirmative Consent” presentation for students to learn about being part of healthy supportive social groups and engaging in healthy behavior.
  • CHAC/Counselor Workshop: Students will be split into discussion groups led by therapists to talk about the Bystander Presentation.
  • CWI/Health: Semester-long courses CWI and Health will be given normal instructional time.


  • College/Career Workshop: Same as above.
  • Bystander Presentation: Same as above.
  • CHAC/Counselor Workshop: Same as above.


  • College/Career Workshop: Same as above.
  • Bystander Presentation: Same as above.
  • English Projects/Presentations: Seniors will work on their English projects by looking at past samples or discussing with teachers.
  • Civics/Econ: Semester-long courses Civics and Econ will be given normal instructional time.
  • Off-Campus Research: Seniors will have the opportunity to do off-campus research for three blocks.


Some teachers are concerned about the logistical viability of the program, as scheduling details have not been finalized.

“I thought about how [Intersession is] going to change the calendar schedule, [because] we have this semester lined out and [we need] to figure out how to reshuffle all of that,” Abel said. “While I really like the idea, the logistics make me nervous.”

Though tackling logistics is a necessary element to planning Intersession, Woolfolk is excited for Intersession and the effects it will have on students.

“Intersession is about personal growth and community bonding,” Woolfolk said. “But another big part of it is four-year planning and helping students make well-informed choices for scheduling.”