Middle School Discovery Week
Discovery Week is an integral part of our school program that offers enhanced educational experiences for all students. It is a week-long experience in September for Grades 7 and 8 and June for Grade 6.
Discovery Week trips are designed so students will:
- Gain greater understanding of various regions of Russia. Through the trips, students learn about and appreciate the geography, history, people and customs of Russia.
- Become closer and supportive of one another. By traveling together for five/six days, students get to know one another well, make new friends and learn skills in dealing effectively with others in a group.
- Grow in self-awareness, self-confidence & independence. By traveling in a group, away from home and without parents, students will get to know themselves better, gain confidence through new experiences, and make decisions that increase their sense of self-reliance and independence.
- Appreciate each other and their teachers in new ways. Through the common experiences of traveling, eating, and living together for five/six days, students and teachers will experience each other in new ways not possible in the classroom. These new experiences will provide an opportunity for students and teachers to build a positive and constructive foundation for interaction for the rest of the school year and future school years.
Health forms must be returned prior to student's participation in Discovery Week.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many teachers will accompany the students and how are the chaperones determined?
We have a ratio of one teacher to every eight students. The chaperones are, for the most part, matched with their advisory plus a teacher from outside their grade level who may have a specific expertise in the trip.
What items may and may not be packed?
The nature of the Discovery Week trips is “unplugged” so to speak. The only exception is a cell phone. However, inappropriate use of a cell phone as determined by the chaperone may result in the cell phone being confiscated for a period of time. Students are ultimately responsible for their possessions.Each trip leader develops a prudent packing list as part of the pre-trip activities.
How will we keep in touch during the week?
Students will be allowed to take their cell phones. It is important to note that cell phone coverage is unpredictable in some locations. Teachers will have cell phones and keep in touch daily with school. Each traveling group contacts the school at least once per day and provides an update. These trip updates are sent as emails to the parents of the travelers. The time the emails are sent may vary and depends on trip activities and time zone. During the day, the Principal and a secretary will be at school. At night, in the event of an emergency, you can contact the Principal or the Director.v
What if a student has a diplomatic passport?
Those parents/children who have diplomatic passports should check with the Consulate Sections of their Embassies if they need a Travel Note to travel around Russia.Travel Notes for US diplomatic passport holders will be obtained by the Penguin Life office.
Are students covered by school medical insurance?
AAS provides primary insurance for each student participating on a school trip. Parents are to be aware that some items may not be covered, and will be the responsibility of parents. This includes medicines and possibly sundry materials such as joint braces, splints, or crutches. All expenses not covered by the insurance company are to be reimbursed to the school. Note that in some cases, there may be regulations concerning health treatment for persons in their own country.
What happens in an emergency?
In a distant location, the teachers will contact local medical care and inform the parents of the situation. If it is decided that a student should return to Moscow, then we will do so as quickly as possible. For a more minor illness, the student will be cared for in a hotel by a teacher until he/she can return to the group activities.
What preparation takes place prior to Discovery Week?
For all of the locations, except for Moscow, we use tour companies we have found reliable and developed a solid relationship with over the years. For security purposes, trip itineraries are given to the school’s security coordinator, who shares this information with the security personnel at the UK, USA and Canadian Embassies. Teacher/chaperones have visited all of the locations and except for new teachers, have traveled on previous Discovery Week trips.