2021 Winter Intensive Theme

Lifetime Health and Recreation for All - Updated 2/12

One of the special things about an SES education is the opportunity to take Intensive Theme Courses once each trimester. These courses focus on unique topics and provide exciting experiences for our SES students. For 25 years SES students have been engaging in things like Social Action, Marine Biology, Model United Nations, Creative Writing, Winter Rec, and even traveling the world. This is why it was exceptionally heartbreaking for SES staff and faculty to have to cancel Intensive Theme last May and again this November because of the pandemic.


We are determined to have a winter intensive theme and have been working hard to think about how we can make it happen in a way that is conducive with Distance Learning during a pandemic. It hasn't been an easy task, but we think we came up with a fun-packed seven days for students that will get them active, thinking outside the box, meeting new friends and teachers, and generally having a good time. This document outlines the details regarding how and what Intensive Theme will look like this winter.

Course Registration and Credit Earned

All students will officially be registered for “Lifetime Fitness” a course that we have taught at SES for many years and many Intensive Themes. However, we are giving it a bit of a make-over to open up opportunities for students and teachers to explore their passions together, while still being active enough to gain a PE credit for all students.

Dates/Course Structure

Winter Intensive Theme will take place from Thursday, February 18 - Friday, February 26. Class times will follow a modified version of the district-wide distance learning schedule on Thursday 2/18 and Friday 2/19. Starting on Monday 2/22 we will be following the hybrid schedule with the exception of the cohort group attending SES on their asynchronous day for the Jamboree Event. The table below is organized by Theme Group and Cohort (A/C-A and B/C-B), showing what each group will be doing (and where they will be) on each day of Intensive Theme.


Students can confirm their registration by looking at their Schoology Courses. They will find a new course called Lifetime Fitness and it will be followed by one of the three theme options: -Activists, -Artists, -Animal.


Please note that we will work with students that have a home high school course to avoid/ minimize them missing their regular Zoom and/or in-person course sessions.

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Synchronous Theme Class (Activists, Artists, Animal-ists)

  • 2/18 - 2/19: Synchronous via Zoom (9:00 - 12:00)


  • 2/22 - 2/26: In-Person at SES (7:55 - 1:26)

    • Cohort A (and C-A via Zoom) on M & Th

    • Cohort B (and C-B via Zoom) on Tu & F


During Advisory on Tuesday, January 26 students had the opportunity to choose which area of Theme Class (Activist, Artist, Animal-ist) they would like to focus on during Winter Intensive Theme. Every student that completed the survey, was given their 1st or 2nd choice, with first choice priority going to Seniors. (See table below for descriptions of each category.)


Students have now been registered for their Theme Class in conjunction with Intensive Theme. They can confirm their registration by looking at their Schoology Courses. They will find a new course called Lifetime Fitness and it will be followed by one of the three theme options: -Activists, -Artists, -Animal.

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Asynchronous Physical Activity & IT Reflection Assignment

  • 2/18 - 2/19: Asynchronous at Home (1:00 - 3:00)


  • 2/22 - 2/26: Asynchronous at Home (all day)

    • Cohort B and C-B on M & Th

    • Cohort A and C-A on Tu & F)

    • ALL STUDENTS on Wed 2/24


In addition to daily Theme Class studies, students will be required to participate in 1 hour of physical activity for each of the 7 days of Intensive Theme, for a total of 7 hours of physical activity. (see table below for ideas) Students may choose to spread this requirement out and complete 1 hour each day, or they may do 2 hours on their “at home” days and no activity on their “in-person” days. There is flexibility, provided students stay within the following parameters:


  • Activity must be spread out over the 7 days of IT… we want overall wellness, NOT 1 day filled with LOTS of activity and lethargy for the rest.

  • A MAX of 2 hours can be entered into the Physical Activity Log google form on any particular calendar day.

  • These 7 hours are IN ADDITION TO Jamboree Day. Students may NOT log Jamboree Activities as part of their 7 hours.


On Wednesday, 2/24 ALL STUDENTS will be learning asynchronously from home. It is required that all students complete the Winter IT Reflection Assignment that day (4 prompts, 100 word response each) and submit it by 11:59pm on Wed 2/24. Additionally, it is encouraged that the students complete 2 of their 7 hrs of physical activity requirement on this day.

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Winter Jamboree Day

  • 2/18 - 2/19 1 day per Theme/Cohort, In-Person at SES (8:00 - 1:15)
  • 2/22 - 2/26 1 day per Theme/Cohort, In-Person at SES (7:55 - 1:26)


One of the components we are most excited about is that all students will have the opportunity to come to SES for a full day of winter activities led by 5 teachers (Brooks Autry, Billy Koenig, Gretchen Pederson, Ana Clements, Kristen McBrien) and supported by additional staff members. We will be playing games, learning outdoor sports, hiking and basically enjoying time outside away from screens and with other humans… masked and socially distanced of course!


These groups will have approximately 50 students (½ of each Theme Class at a time divided by Cohort). Students may choose to drive themselves, but bussing will be provided for all students that live within District 196 boundaries. And, both breakfast and lunch will be provided, free of charge, on their day at SES. The table below shows which day each group of students is assigned to participate in the Winter Jamboree.


If your student has a home high school class and their assigned Jamboree Day conflicts, they will be given a School Authorized absence from their Home High School course, so that they can attend the entire Jamboree day! Please note, they are still responsible for communicating with their Home High School teacher to make up the work that they will miss.

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Students attending Jamboree day will need to dress in layers and be prepared to be outside for the majority of the day. The chart below should be used as a checklist when preparing for their assigned day. One additional item: their base layer should include a t-shirt, so students do not overheat in case of extreme weather that could cause us to move indoors for some of the activities.


If the checklist below feels like too much here's a quick list:


  • Winter boots (you do NOT want cold wet sneakers all day!)
  • Non-cotton base layers (...long underwear, top & bottom)
  • Warm second layers (top & bottom… non-cotton best!)
  • Winter Jacket / Snow pants (or extra layer + rain gear)
  • 2 pairs of gloves / mittens
  • Thick socks or 2 pairs of socks (non-cotton best!)
  • Warm Winter Hat
  • Multiple Masks (just in case)
  • Water bottle and a small backpack


Or, if you do better with a video... here's Mr. Autry's... What to wear for a big day outside!

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Jamboree Option for Cohort C Students

If your student is part of Cohort C (digital academy) they are welcome to come participate in-person for Jamboree Day. They can even choose to stay outside the entire day, even for meals, if that makes them more comfortable attending. However, if they are NOT comfortable with being in-person for the Jamboree Day, we do have an alternative activity option, which will be shared with them prior to their scheduled Jamboree Day.


Students currently enrolled in Cohort C DID RECEIVE a call this week asking if they are planning to attend the Jamboree in-person, or would prefer the alternate activity option. If you did NOT receive this call, or have not yet responded to the message left regarding this question, please call the office 952-431-8750 to let us know your preference. If we do not hear from you, we will assume the preference is to participate from home.


Students choosing to participate from home will receive an email from Kristen McBrien the week of 2/15, prior to the start of Intensive Theme, with details on how students will participate from home.

School of Environmental Studies

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