Today marks the first day of classes for the Spring Term. The sun is shining brightly, while the still-freezing temperatures remind us of winter's lingering grip on New Hampshire. As we move into this final stretch of the school year (graduation is just nine weeks away!), we look back at Project Period 2018 and remind ourselves why we commit four academic days to this endeavor each spring.
In this time of everything-always-now, of streaming content and the new next, it can be remarkably centering to step into a sugar house in March where there is fire, sap, and patience - an antidote for the age of hurry. The sugar maples and the weather conspire to pick the timing of the season, and however much you want that first thimble of syrup to come out of the evaporator, there’s no hurrying the process. You are not in control. There’s no overnight shipping. No Prime. You move in the rhythm of the season or do without.
As Director of Enrollment Chris Bartlett stood in front of our start of Spring Term faculty meeting discussing the importance of upcoming Revisit Days, faculty nodded their heads at the need to showcase the best version of our authentic selves for visiting families on March 30 and April 6. As independent school educators, we know full well the balance every school seeks to manage during Revisit Days as our Admissions team works to enroll the most dynamic, fun, engaging, diverse student body for the 2018-2019 academic year, while not simply putting on an Admissions dog and pony show that fails to give prospective families a genuine window into our community.
Project Period 2017 is a wrap as we jump through the icy puddles around campus on this cold, rainy opening day of classes. This morning, we published a Flickr Album with over 350 photos from the 35+ projects that immersed themselves in small group learning opportunities around the country. Key to the success of Project Period each year are the alumni who partner with faculty to explore their area of expertise.
Whether it’s hiking around the mall in Washington, DC or to the top of Mount Washington, walking the streets of downtown Boston or downtown Franklin, New Hampshire, the power of Project Period, Proctor’s four day, immersive small group program that kicks off the Spring Term each year, remains the same. While we pride ourselves on an educational model that features academic courses rooted in experiential learning, Project Period provides an opportunity for students and faculty to join together to explore their passions outside of the classroom.
After months of planning and four amazing days during which small groups of students spent time with one or two faculty members, Project Period is over. Throughout the week, Project Period Coordinator Patty Pond helped capture student reflections on what community means to them. You can hear a few of these snippets in the video below, but if you were present at Proctor's 3rd Annual St. Baldrick's Event, you felt the Proctor (and local Andover) community in action.
For the past 30 years, Project Period has been a critical part of Proctor’s mission to deliver hands-on, experiential learning to its students. The four day, immersive small group program kicks off the Spring Term each year. When you ask alumni their favorite Proctor memory, more often than not, a Project Period highlight emerges. But this program does not just ‘happen’, it takes faculty time, energy and passion to be the transformative experience it is.