Experience the World
Winterim is designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge beyond present experiences and to encourage a love of learning. This is accomplished by a small group of students working closely with a faculty member in various non-traditional experiential courses. Winterim provides opportunities to fulfill the school’s mission through exploration in academics, arts, outdoors, and athletics. Enrichment opportunities are also offered through cultural exchanges, community service, and internships. Participation in Winterim is required for all upper school students.
Winterim Directors: Bonnie Hall and Shannon Frost
- To expand the student’s worldview and knowledge through exposure to new ideas, new cultures, and/or new skills.
- To deepen relationships among students and faculty by working together in small groups.
- To model a love of learning through faculty involvement with students.
- To eliminate the misconception that learning only occurs in a classroom environment and thus to develop lifelong learners.
- To reinforce the ideas or concepts taught in the classroom in a different environment.
Rules and Procedures
All students in grades 9-12 must participate in a Winterim course. See the section below entitled Course Registration for more information on how to register for a Winterim course.
Winterim days are considered academic days in our school calendar; thus the absentee policy is the same as any normal school day. However, any absence from Winterim requires a doctor's note in order to be excused. Each day a student has an unexcused absence will result in three hours of Detention.
Once a student has been placed in a course, changes may not be made. Therefore, it is imperative that the student and parent discuss cost options for Winterim courses. Please do not sign up for a course if all course requirements, including costs, cannot be met.
Individual Winterim courses will not be allowed. Such courses do not meet the goal of small-group interaction. All students should choose a Winterim course from the courses provided. A student choosing an alternative program will have to use his/her parent request days (limited to five days per year).
Only students in grades 10-12 may travel out of state. Students in grade 9 should select a local or in-state Winterim.
Some courses require a non-refundable deposit at registration.
Due to grade level priority, course popularity and limits, not all students will receive their first choice. Students should be prepared to register for another course if their first choice is filled.
No one may participate in a course in which he/she has participated in any previous year. The only exceptions to this are Service learning trips, Internships, and Choosing to Serve.
Registration for Winterim courses is conducted exclusively online.
Trips (grades 10-12) register in May. Local courses (grades 9-12) register in September.
May registration is for TRIPS only. Anyone who does not want to travel for Winterim will register in the fall. During each registration, students will register in waves based on grade level. Once registration is open to a grade level, those students will be able to register throughout the process. Registration opens at 6:00 am on the following dates:
For rising Seniors (currently grade 11) – opens Tuesday, May 10
For rising Juniors (currently grade 10) – opens Thursday, May 12
For rising Sophomores (currently grade 9) – opens Monday, May 16
Closes for all on Wednesday, May 18 at 10 PM
By the close of September registration, each student in grades 9-12 must officially register for ONE AND ONLY ONE course. Student placement on the waitlist for a course is not considered as registration for one course.
Do NOT register for TWO courses. You may indicate your second choice during the registration process.Download Registration Instructions
Deposits and Payments
Either full payment or a non-refundable deposit is required to register. Deposit amounts differ according to the overall cost of the course. Different courses will provide payment plans with final payments due no later than November 30.
If the student is placed in the course and decides to withdraw, the deposit will not be refunded. Thus, it is imperative that parents and students discuss Winterim options before completing the registration form.
Payments for online registration will be made via credit card.
Waitlist and Second choices
If your first choice course is full, you are welcome to sign-up on the waitlist. You do not need to pay a deposit for the waitlist. However, by the close of fall registration students MUST hold a seat in a course. Signing up on the waitlist does NOT constitute enrolling in a course.
Please complete the fields listing your second and third choices. This is very important. If for some reason a course does not meet the minimum requirement, you will need to be placed in another course.
Since you are able to give a second and third option, you only waitlist if your first choice is full. Please do not waitlist for multiple courses.
Do NOT register for TWO courses. Register for ONE course ONLY.
Note: during registration, if a spot opens in a course, then students on the waitlist will be automatically placed in that course.
Students who no longer wish to be on the waitlist for a course, must notify the winterim staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Winterim?
For three days in January, the upper school suspends the normal school day in order to challenge students through various non-traditional, experiential programs called Winterim. Winterim provides opportunities to fulfill the school’s mission through exploration in academics, arts, outdoors, and athletics. Enrichment opportunities are also offered through cultural exchanges, community service, and internships.
My child is slated for a course different from registration. How does this happen?
Some courses didn’t make, so someone who registered before you might have bumped you out of a course. The bumped student is then placed in either the second or third choice.
Some waitlists opened up. Students are automatically moved into the course he/she waitlisted when this occurs.
Who participates in Winterim?
Participation is required of ALL upper school students, in grades 9-12. The attendance policy for Winterim applies just like any academic day.
Who pays for Winterim courses?
The cost of Winterim courses is not included in tuition. The price of individual Winterim courses varies. A course requiring travel may cost over $1,000, while local courses can range from $0-$200. Great effort is taken to provide valuable and exciting educational experiences at reasonable costs. Parents should discuss course offerings with students to ensure participation in a course that is interesting to the student and manageable for the family budget.
Can my child repeat a program from a previous year?
Since the purpose of Winterim is to challenge students to expand their knowledge beyond present experiences, students are not allowed to repeat Winterim programs. For example, a student who traveled to New York last year will not be able to do so again this year. Remember that the purpose of Winterim is EXPOSURE to new things. The exceptions to this are the following courses: Service Learning trips, Internships and Choosing to Serve.
Who can travel?
Out-of-state/country travel is open only to grades 10-12. Students in grade 9 should register for a local/in-state course.
My child plays a sport that is in season during Winterim, what are his options?
Options vary from sport to sport. Some teams will participate in a specific team-focused Winterim. Some teams must choose a local course during the day in order to have practice and games in the evening. Some teams have no restrictions or requirements during winterim. If you plan to play a winter sport, before you register for Winterim, you should contact the coach directly to determine if any mandates are set.
May I travel as a chaperone on my child's winterim?
All Winterims, particularly Winterim trips, are fun and engaging experiences for students because they nurture and challenge each student to grow and develop as young adults in unique settings. The experiences encountered on Winterim trips are specifically designed to allow your child to safely explore the surrounding world with friends, teachers, and mentors. Because introducing a family member into that dynamic changes the learning experience for the whole group, we do not use parents who are not also Brentwood Academy staff or faculty as chaperones during Winterim. This unique opportunity to explore their world without parents, but with guidance from trusted faculty, allows for tremendous personal growth in each student. Upper school faculty carefully choose chaperones for the trip who will help and encourage each student. There is a rigorous process for choosing chaperones, who have some current or former working relationship with Brentwood Academy and have undergone a thorough background check.