About

The Semester Schools Network is a group of schools offering semester-long educational opportunities for high school students. Students leave their sending schools for one semester to attend our schools; they return with one full semester of academic credit, as well as a wealth of knowledge and new experiences to bring back to their sending schools. Our programs deliver powerful outcomes for students—from challenging them academically, to expanding their views of the world, to helping them understand themselves as learners, to teaching them the value of participation in a small community. We have enrolled students from hundreds of high schools all over the United States and the world. We believe that a semester away can be an outstanding complement to the college preparatory education offered by independent and public high schools.

Testimonials

See what educators, parents and students are saying about the Semester Schools Network.

Educator

I frequently recommend semester schools to students and parents so that students can enjoy their immense benefits, including the opportunity to pursue a passion; the experience of living away from home in a different setting and part of the world with a new set of friends; the excitement of learning by doing rather than just learning by listening; and the opportunity to paint on a larger canvas with new paints.

Pat Bassett
President, National Association of Independent Schools

Student

The strength of The Traveling School is its emphasis or relevance and critical thinking. It was important to me to see what was happening in southern Africa not only as an event in southern Africa, but as an idea that can be broadened and molded into something different.

Sydney
The Traveling School, Fall 2014

Student

I can say with all my heart that Oxbow has truly changed my life. In just one semester I saw a development in myself that I never thought could be possible. The creative and supportive atmosphere that they have created here is something that I know I will never find again because it is so unique. The school aspect of it was so much more enjoyable and exciting then traditional schooling is. Oxbow bridges the subjects and makes connections between all aspects of life. I made connections and built relationships that will last a lifetime. If you have this opportunity take it!

Logan Larsen
The Oxbow School, Fall 2014

Student

At the Alzar School I was hoping to expand my perspective, to better understand myself, to learn and grow, and I have gotten even more from this experience than I ever dreamed of. [It has been] the most challenging and rewarding experience and has impacted me for the best.

Elena
Alzar School, Fall 2013

Educator

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that all students should enjoy. If education could be like this throughout the country, it would completely change our education system. All learning styles were reached through the teaching methods, and lessons were meaningful and effective. Teachers obviously love what they do and care about each student. They are models of a healthy lifestyle. The organizational system at Conserve ensures that all students are deeply engaged in the community, and they take “ownership” of the school, their education, and their relationships.

Counselor
Conserve School, Sending School Counselor

Student

Island School remains as the singular defining adventure of my life, it has made me, me.

Griffin Hunt
The Island School, Fall 2011

Parent

Conserve's program combines stringent academics with daily experiential treks into the gorgeous 1200 acre wilderness campus, led by a deeply committed faculty who are passionate about teaching. This is what education is supposed to be!

Parent
Conserve School

Student

TTS will open worlds that you never even thought existed, and will teach you about not only how many galaxies there are outside of you but also how many there are inside of you.

Claudia
The Traveling School, Fall 2014

Parent

Thank you so much for providing Megs with the opportunity to attend Conserve School. I can see that Mr. Lowestine’s mission of inspiring young people to environmental stewardship has been fulfilled. Since she has returned home, she has shown both personal strength and maturity that are a direct result of her time spent at Conserve. Her decisions, actions, and voice are now a reflection of her incredible experience. I am confident that as she ventures into the adult world, she will do so with a strong internal compass leading her to protect and preserve the natural world.

Parent
Conserve School

Parent

The results were profound. Since returning, we have witnessed…[our daughter’s] ability to engage in meaningful and mature conversation. The confidence and self-reliance she gained at the Alzar School have manifested themselves as she takes on significant leadership positions in her senior year of high school.

Tucker
Alzar School, Spring 2014

Educator

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful job you do at Conserve. We had two students from our school attend the school during the Fall semester. Both have come back to our school with a new lease on life. They are about to start preparing for their senior year and are molding their senior projects around inspiration they acquired at Conserve (Hannah is creating a low cost hydroponic system for developing countries and Tierney is going to create an elementary school program to promote the growing of fruit trees). Although both girls were good students before they left for Conserve, they have returned with an increased awareness of their place in our community, and a maturity that I think can only really be achieved by spending time away from home.

Counselor
Conserve School, Sending School Counselor

Parent

Our daughter's attendance at Oxbow will have positive effects on her life and her choices for many years to come. She gained confidence, true academic interest, increased artistic skill as well as learned how to handle all different types of personalities in her four months at Oxbow. She did not return home a different person but rather a more mature and better version of herself. Any school that causes a teenager to be more who she is rather than who she thinks she should be deserves five stars.

Stacey and Robert Trisch
The Oxbow School, Fall 2013

Student

My semester at Conserve School has greatly expanded my knowledge and perspective of the environment, and has inspired me to be an advocate for sustainability through lifestyle and career. From the array of new experiences and the uniting of individuals I now call family, in just one semester at Conserve School, my life has been changed.

Student
Conserve School

Student

The Island School is where the improbable becomes possible and the extraordinary becomes extraordinary.

Robbie Balloch
The Island School, Spring 2012