Experiential Mini-courses Foster Students’ Passions

Finals are over, but summer isn’t beginning just yet for high school students at The Ellis School. Why? It’s mini-course time! Following AP and final exams at the end of May, the Ellis Upper School transitions from traditional academic courses to an eclectic and exciting mix of “mini-courses” for the final weeks of the school year. These required, experiential classes are a time for students to have fun, explore new interests, and unwind.
During mini-courses, students enjoy designated time to complete individual projects, travel, and explore potential passions in classes that are designed to be interdisciplinary and community-based. This spirited trimester crosses grade levels and courses are taught by Ellis teachers, outside experts, alumnae, and even students! A pressure-free learning experience, mini-courses allow for hands-on learning that offers the Ellis Upper School community the opportunity to collaborate, reflect, and innovate together in a joyful environment.

This year, mini-courses include over two dozen distinct options with topics ranging from studio lighting design and CrossFit, to acoustic guitar and a trip to Costa Rica. In Girl Boss 101, Ellis alumna Heidi HOLZAPFEL ’97 will teach students the basics of building your own business and brand; in Hey Ms. Producer, students will pitch ideas about concept, music, lighting, and costuming for next year’s Upper School musical; and in Africa Rising!: Cinema as Activism, students will explore how politics and culture shape African cinema traditions, to only name a few!

The capstone of each academic year for underclassmen, mini-courses are a time for Ellis girls to embrace new ideas, relax, and celebrate the close of the school year.

Alumnae Courses
Girl Boss 101 with Heidi HOLZAPFEL ’97
Art and Archeology of Minoan Crete with Dr. Lily BONGA ’02
The Art of Conversation with Susan SCHUMACHER Morris ’62

Student-Led Courses
Mini-course Play                                 
Tea Ceremonies         
Korean Language Study         
Exploring Lebanese Culture                   
Life and Literature        
Let’s Start Lettering    
Darning for Dummies

Faculty Courses
Wheel Thrown Forms with Great Master's Embellishments                    
Exploring Wellness Through Mindfulness
Beginners' Pop & Rock Acoustic Guitar          
The Art of Mathematics                   
Introduction to Knitting             
Hey Ms. Producer                    
Ellis Volleyball Clinic       
Africa Rising!: Cinema as Activism                        
Explorations in Physics          
History of Homosexuality           
Wake Up and Plug-In           
Adobe All Day
Studio Lighting Photography                          
The Unconventional Challenge: Decades of Fashion              
Overview of the Marvel Cinematic Universe          
Love Cinematically                          
Trip to Heredia, Costa Rica

Visiting Faculty Courses
Functional Fitness for Health, Wellness, and Athletics
Sports Medicine