Recognizing that student interest and motivation are vital to educational success, Lyndon Institute provides a January Term aimed at sparking and rekindling student curiosity.

Between the first and second semesters, for two to three weeks after the holiday vacation, students participate in an “interim” term to immerse themselves in either an intensive study of subjects of their choosing or an internship.

The areas of study are constructed from the passions of our students and faculty. The courses share many of the following attributes and themes:

  • Hands-on, applied, active and creative learning activities
  • Trips to subject and topic related sites
  • Opportunities to learn, practice, and create using tools of the discipline or trade
  • Daily reflection and sharing of learning
  • Career explorations within the field of study
  • Seminars with professionals or experts in the field of study
  • Internships (see more below)
  • Building community and relationships
  • The building of a deeper understanding of our Mission, Vision, and Values

The objective of January Term is to allow every student to create an artifact, or final product, which reflects the acquisition of skill and knowledge in the field of study. These artifacts are measured against predefined course requirements and objectives and could include: performances, videos, formal presentations, creation of web page resources, certification in a field, a business plan, a journal, a publication, or a product of some type.

The school day (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) is broken into 4 blocks and classes meet every day. Students must choose 4 blocks of study. Advanced Placement (AP) and other classes requiring specific hours, i.e., Driver’s Ed and LNA, are accommodated within the January Term block schedule and count toward credit. 

Internships - Students are given the option for approved internships, alternative class structures, independent studies, or certification courses of their choosing in consultation with an advisor. Students must have the same amount of contact hours as they would receive in class to be given equivalent credit for alternative options. Students participating in these alternative classes or internships are responsible for their own transportation.

January Term engages students in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-directed inquiry process. Students may submit ideas for courses and should expect to be challenged by rigorous study of concepts and principles of a discipline. Inquiry should be motivated by answering questions, solving problems, and creating artifacts that reflect the type of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside of the classroom.

While January Term lasts only two weeks, Lyndon Institute is optimistic that these explorations are the beginning of further independent, student-led inquiry initiatives. We encourage students to continually think about course subjects or potential internships that would inspire them. January Term is their chance to dedicate two weeks of school specifically to projects, issues, or careers they are passionate about.

January Term Catalog

2020 January Term Photos


What is January Term?
Between the first and second semesters, for two to three weeks after the holiday vacation, students will participate in an “interim” term to immerse themselves in either intensive study of subjects of their choosing or an internship. January Term focuses on project-based learning, a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to authentic complex questions, problems, or challenges.  

Is January Term required?
Yes, January Term is required and students will earn credit for the successful completion of courses.

How does January Term affect exam week?

Final exams, formerly held a week after the semester ends, are now being integrated into the fall and spring semesters’ schedule.  The timing of the exams will be determined by the individual academic divisions.

How does January Term affect Advanced Placement (AP®) Courses?
AP Courses will continue through January Term, however, students have the choice to continue with AP or work independently via a teacher-approved guided syllabus during January Term.  If a student is enrolled in more than one AP course, the student must take a minimum of one-block of January Term classes.

How will courses be assigned?
Courses will be announced via a course bulletin (PDF) by the beginning of November.  Students will choose their courses during advisory and a completed listing of courses and rosters will be available before Thanksgiving break.

Does January Term cause students to miss two weeks of classroom instruction?
No, with the introduction of January Term, our students receive an additional week of learning by moving exams into the regularly-scheduled fall and spring semesters.