Novel Two-School Collaboration Gives Students Transformative Winter Experience

January was anything but the doldrums for some adventurous students at Archmere Academy and The Independence School, who hit the woods and bike trails, learned about ‘faith in film’ or earned their PADI scuba certification as part of a unique Winter mini-term program offered to students at the two schools.

Select students at Archmere and Independence spent time last month participating in the first-ever Winterim, an innovative, experiential program created in collaboration by the two schools.

Both schools – Archmere, a high school, and Independence, a preschool through 8th-grade program – offered a selection of 35 Winterim courses including four that were open to students from the two schools to take together: Faith & Film, September 11th Seminar, Principles and History of Coaching, and Cycling/Trail Biking. 


The course options covered a remarkable range of interests, from sports to cooking, to the arts, mindfulness and well-being. (Full list of courses below.)

Winterim was an outcome of work the schools undertook since receiving an E.E. Ford Foundation Grant in early 2019. The grant sought support for Independence and Archmere to discover how synergies in program, facilities, and practices could benefit students across the full K-12 spectrum. 

Some students earned their PADI Scuba certification at the Archmere-Independence School Winterim

During the mornings of January 21, 22, and 23, students participated in the mini-electives on and off campus, many of which were planned and led in partnership with faculty from both schools.

Since Winterim classes took place only in the morning, Independence students had the added experience of team-building work over the course of the three afternoons.

They were led through Lego Serious Play, by certified facilitator and educator, Mr. David Kubacki. They also spent time learning more about themselves and their peers through the CliftonStrengths Explore by Gallup, which helps explain the ways people most naturally think, feel and behave.


“Winterim was a welcome break from the routine and an enriching, active learning experience no matter what age or grade level,” said Victoria Yatzus, head of school at Independence. 

Michael Marinelli, headmaster at Archmere Academy, added, “The time spent in the mini-courses resulted in new opportunities to foster critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and leadership skills.” 

Winterim 2020 Courses
Myths, Lore, and More!
Ghost Hunting
Explore the Pasta-bilities!
The Science of Well-being
Hiking DE State Parks
History of Coaching
September 11th – Remembrance, Story Telling, and Memorial 
Faith in Film 
Travel Writing
Business Management/Entrepreneurship
Social Media/Marketing
Beat the Dealer
Dreams & Failure –The Power of Positivity & Resilience
Philosophy of Sports & Games
Sign Language: Pretty Handy
Sports Analytics
Spiritual Ecology
Sound Effects
Glass Fusion Tile Design
Inclusive Communities
Indian Diet
Modern/Post-Modern Art
Mammals, Reptiles, and Birds
STEM @Star: Research at University of Delaware
Functional Fitness
Protecting Backyard Habitats
Chinese Calligraphy/Cuisine
DIY Workshop: Nailed It!
Creating Podcasts
The Anatomy of the Sentence
PADI Scuba Diving
Floral Design
Youth Basketball Officiating

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