H-term returns to Hill with an updated format



Karl Mellander is teaching a fly fishing course during H-term.

During the two-week period between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, Hill will be offering a unique academic experience called H-Term, which is an opportunity for students to take a break from their regular academic courses and investigate specific topics in greater depth. This H-Term, Hill will offer courses covering topics in life skills, sustainability, global studies, social justice and more. 

H-Term returns after being implemented for the first time during the 2020-21 school year. While it was originally a six-week remote program that was conceived to allow the Hill community to stay off campus during the flu season, the school decided to bring H-Term back after survey data indicated that it was well-received by both students and teachers. 

This year’s H-Term will offer a much wider variety of courses than last year’s, with an expansive course catalog that encompasses a diverse range of subjects. Courses on fly fishing, playwriting, cooking, poetry, and constitutional law are just a few of those that will be taught. According to Academic Dean Katy Hudak, planning for this year’s H-Term was afforded more flexibility than it was last year, allowing the school to build on the strategies and ideas developed during the first H-Term.

Planning for H-Term was “in-person and not remote, and the group was smaller and more focused. We also had a starting point since we had already successfully run H-Term last year but had more flexibility because it was not tied to the Low Residence Program,” explained Hudak. While last year’s H-Term courses were held virtually for all, with only winter varsity athletes remaining on campus for practices, all H-Term courses will be conducted in-person this year.

Araiya Casriel ’24, who participated in Hill’s remote H-Term last year, believes that in-person courses and a shorter time span will make this year’s H-Term more inclusive and educational.

“It’s going to be a lot more inclusive for everyone since most of us will be on campus. I think it’s going to feel somewhat like traditional school because of the dress code and lunches … In addition to being on campus, another improvement is that it is shorter. Looking back, it seems crazy that we effectively had no school from Thanksgiving to March. Unfortunately, I personally felt that my education was affected by this hiatus last year,” Casriel said.

While the majority of students will be returning to Hill to take courses for H-Term, some will be participating in either an internship or independent study off campus.

“Students can gain valuable real-world experience through internships, deep dive in an independent study with a focus on a topic they’re passionate about, or participate in interdisciplinary, on-campus courses designed to explore interesting topics in a fun manner,” explained Jake Tischler, H-Term’s head coordinator.