Minimester Moves to March


The 2016-2017 school year will be a period of adaptation and experimentation. The administration has decided to fundamentally reshape many of Miami Country Day School’s longstanding traditions and policies, Minimester included.

Minimester, the one week when all upper school students are required to participate in the opportunity to explore courses unrelated to the school curriculum is being moved to March. According to Upper School Director, Mr.Turf, the Minimester dates will be moved to March 21st through March 24th, 2017.

When asked what will happen to the foreign trips without the additional three day weekend for extra traveling time, Mr.Turf responded, “They can use the weekend after, and if they truly need more time they would be excused on the 20th.”

Why is the school deciding to change minimester? This is probably the first question that many of you had when initially discovering the modifications. As stated by Mr.Turf, “the administration has always wanted to administer Minimester in March.” “However”, he explained that the “middle of the quarter was always in March” and now, “we no longer have the quarter system, there are going to be semesters.” Consequently, there will be nothing that a March Minimester conflicts with in terms of grading periods.  

The new alterations to the minimester schedule will not conflict with Spring Break because the break will take place from March 25th to April 5th. The numerous modifications to many of the fundamental policies of MCDS will prove to have multiple different effects on the student body.  By changing the quarterly grading system to a biannual semester system, the administration feels that moving Minimester to March makes sense.  In addition, March weather is more reliable for travel.

How will students and teachers alike react to the new change in the schedule? John Sayfie, sophomore and Miami Country Day School and Sports editor of The Spartacus believes that the new schedule change is great because “now all of those athletes in the winter season, the basketball players and the soccer players, can go on great trips out of Florida that they have probably been wanting to go on for a while but haven’t been able to because of their commitment to their sport.” However, the new schedule will conflict with spring season sports such as lacrosse, water polo, and tennis.

It is speculated that many teachers have been organizing trips abroad for years. Mr. Woodburn, 9th grade biology teacher, has annually organized a group of students to travel to Costa Rica for Minimester. The change in scheduling will undoubtedly affect his trip. Teachers may find trips to be more expensive at this time of year but that remains to be seen.

The new system will allot less time off and more time in the classroom. The move to March will unquestionably shock the student body who undoubtedly enjoyed their in-between, gap days of this previous minimester system.