One aspect of Cornerstone’s distinctive education at the high school level is the annual Winterim session. Winterim is a unique inter-semester “mini-mester” that convenes during the first two weeks following Christmas break. During this time, regular classes for students in grades 9-12 are suspended while the students participate in one of three study options: on-campus academic and practical elective courses taught by CCA faculty and community volunteers, study and service trips, or the Winterim internship experience. Each option is considered a credited course that helps students meet graduation requirements while providing a variety of opportunities to enrich CCA’s core curriculum.
Students who select the on-campus study option register for two intensive study classes that meet daily during the Winterim session. The morning session is devoted to academic study, while the afternoon courses emphasize practical life skills. Course offerings vary from year to year, depending on student interest and instructor availability. Options have included such topics as courtroom trial tactics, sales and marketing, money management, media analysis from a worldview perspective, African-American history, development of spiritual disciplines, cooking and home economics, auto mechanics, home improvement, cosmetology, and photography.
Typically, two travel options are available to CCA students during the Winterim session. Annually, a group of students and faculty members travels to Guatemala to serve at Village of Hope, a ministry of LifeSong for Orphans. Additionally, content area study trips are planned on a rotating basis. These trips have included visits to Spain, Germany, and Italy to study language, culture, and history.
Upperclassmen who wish to explore areas of interest as they begin to consider their vocational calling may choose to participate in the Winterim internship experience. This program is designed to connect students to professional mentors whom they shadow for the two-week period. Students submit a journal chronicling their experience as well as a culminating project that displays in a tangible form how they have served their mentor or partner organization while broadening their perspective, gaining practical experience, and acquiring new skills. Cornerstone students have interned in a variety of arenas, including: full-time church and para-church ministries, internal medicine, radio broadcasting, veterinary science, office management, radiology, dentistry, small business management, law enforcement, construction technology, interior design, and agri-business.
High school students register for the January Winterim session during the preceding fall semester. Course fees and availability are dependent upon the nature of and demand for individual courses. Students are notified of course placement and fees are collected prior to the Christmas break. Winterim grades are reported on the second semester report card and calculated in the second semester grade point average.
Do you have a suggestion for a Winterim course or desire to volunteer as a course instructor? Would you be available to serve as a professional mentor for a student intern? If so, please contact the Upper School Principal to further discuss the possibilities!