At Milken, Tiyulim week is an opportunity for students to take their learning outside the classroom on an assortment of trips around the world. In previous years, the freshmen would go on a grade-level trip, while the sophomores and juniors embarked on various, chosen trips. This year, Milken decided to change things up by making freshmen, sophomores and juniors all go on grade-level trips, rather than choosing their own tiyulim. Each trip correlates with the students’ grade-level curriculum and essential question. In addition to having a deeper understanding of their grade’s question through a hands-on experience, these trips are meant to explore friendships and build community.
This year, the freshmen are exploring the question, “How do I/we create a safe, productive, and meaningful community?” To attempt to explore this complex, essential question, the entire freshmen class is going to Santa Cruz Island in order to explore this concept in nature. The year-long focus of the sophomore class is understanding the difficulties that come along with facing challenges and decision-making. Accordingly, they are traveling as a grade to New Orleans to observe the impact of a natural disaster on communities and to contribute to ongoing relief efforts. Lastly, juniors explore the question, “What are my/our social and political responsibilities as Jews in America?” Throughout the school year, they focus on issues of American identity through the lens of history, literature and language, and Judaism. Because of this essential question and curriculum, the juniors will be going on a Civil Rights tiyul through the American South.
Students have varying opinions about the changes to Tiyulim Week. Sasha Stone ‘20 believes, “it will be different, but for the better because it will give us an opportunity to bond as a grade.” The hope is that students will have a deeper understanding of their grade-wide essential question through personal experience and that they will bond as a grade. Ms. Lauren Miller, who has been working on planning and executing Tiyulim Week, said, “We are so excited to rollout grade-level trips for grades 10 and 11 this year. The grade 9 class trip has always been a hallmark of the Milken experience, and we believe that having a whole-grade trip for grades 10 and 11 will allow for educationally enriching experiences as well as unique bonding opportunities for students in each grade. In addition, the administrative team is continually working to enhance the exploration of each grade level’s year-long theme through Advisory, and grade-level Tiyulim Week trips will allow us to further explore these themes through experiential, hands-on learning.”