Back in the fall, I had the privilege of filling in for Mr. Wiisanen one day with a group of senior guys. I asked them for suggestions of things that we could do better or do differently here at ICSV. We have taken their suggestions seriously, and are planning to implement a couple of them beginning with the next school year. One was to modify the schedule a bit, which we have done. The second is very exciting. They recommended that we include class trips at the beginning of the year like the Austrian schools do. They said that having this time to bond together as a class would allow the new students to get to know their classmates. I totally agree. So, their proposal was taken to various staff groups, with overwhelming support for the introduction of class trips. Personally, I have seen how trips like this help to set the tone for the school year, so I am very excited to announce this new addition to ICSV.
Beginning in September, all secondary students will be going on a three-day/two-night trip with their class. In 2016-2017 the trips are scheduled for Wednesday to Friday, September 7 through 9. The middle school will go together as one group to Appelhof in Murzswteg. This location is set up to work with students of this age group. Grades 9 and 10 will travel together to JUFA Mariazeller Land-Sigmundsberg and work with a group called Together with Tourgether. Grades 11 and 12 will go to Prague and work with an organization that coordinates CAS trips for IB schools. Cost for the trips is being shared. The additional fee was increased slightly to help cover part of the cost. The school also budgeted additional funds to make up the difference. We truly want all students to come on these trips!
In addition to class bonding, what else will these trips accomplish? Each location has amazing places to see and things to do. The trips will include some sort of educational component that takes place in a real-life situation. Students may spend time in the forest or visit a beekeeper. In Prague, the upper-classmen will be able to tour the city. Students will also have the chance to serve together. Of course, we will plan some time for devotions and sharing by staff members and a time for students to reflect on what they experience. Team-building activities and time for just plain fun will also be included.