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Innovation Trimester


The Innovation Trimester (I-Tri) is a new program where Loomis students will spend a term outside of their regular classes identifying and solving problems in the local Windsor/Greater Hartford area.

Members of the Class of 2019 at Loomis will participate in the inaugural I-Tri in the spring of 2019.

Students will practice human-centered design and learn project management techniques and skills.

Student Outcomes


The mission of the Innovation Trimester is to provide the time and space for students to create something meaningful that will have a positive impact on others. Students will develop a sense of agency and empowerment, and realize the positive impact that they can have on the world around them.

The Innovation Trimester supports the mission of the school, which inspires in students a commitment to the best self and the common good. Through Loomis's excellent academic curriculum, students develop their best selves and gain deep knowledge in particular academic and extracurricular areas. The Innovation Trimester gives students the opportunity to expand the breadth of their knowledge and skills, including empathy, required to be a part of an interdisciplinary team that is trying to make a positive difference in the world. This supports their commitment to the common good.


The Innovation Trimester is a capstone experience through which meaning is brought to a student's education beyond the pursuit of academic knowledge. Students will develop passion and purpose through the completion of projects which have an impact on individuals in the local community. Through rich projects, students will develop their creative confidence, initiative, resilience, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, empathy, and communication skills.

Profile of a Graduate

The following characteristics and skills will be developed and assessed throughout the Innovation Trimester program.

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
    • Identify, define, and solve authentic problems
    • Collect, assess, and analyze relevant information
    • Reflect critically on learning experiences, processes, and solutions
  • Creativity and Innovation
    • Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (brainstorming, divergent & convergent thinking)
    • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term cyclical process of small success and frequent mistakes
    • Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
  • Initiative and Self-Direction
    • Set goals with tangible and intangible success criteria
    • Utilize time and manage workload efficiently
    • Monitor, define, prioritize, and complete tasks without direct oversight
  • Resilience
    • Persist to accomplish difficult tasks and to overcome academic and personal barriers to meet goals
  • Communication
    • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
    • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions
  • Empathy
    • Demonstrate understanding of others’ perspectives and needs
    • Listen with an open mind to understand others’ situations

Student Journey & Sample Schedule

How will we get there?

The students will go through several design cycles using a human-centered design process. The early projects will be facilitated by the faculty and the later projects will grant students more independence in their work.

As seen in the schedule below, students will have time to learn and practice techniques required for their projects, such as interviewing, agile/scrum frameworks, data analysis, and public speaking.

The last and largest challenge in the program will allow students the opportunity to use their skills to find and define the question/problem worth solving.

Sample Schedule

This is a sample weekly schedule for the Innovation Trimester.

The schedule allows students to still participate in Community Time engagements such as advising meetings, dorm meetings, and convocations. It also allows students to participate in extracurricular activities such as interscholastic athletics. While this schedule is a template, the schedule could vary based on the demands of specific design challenges being addressed in the program.

All-Hands Meeting:

The whole group will meet together every morning to discuss the program for the day, reflect on where they have been and where they are heading with their projects.

LSC (Learn Something Cool):

This is a skills development workshop that will take place on most days. This gives students dedicated time to learn and practice new skills.

Wednesday Weekly Design Challenge:

The more opportunities students have to practice design cycles, the better they will be at the skills involved. This time gives students a break from their larger projects, in order to practice their skills on smaller, less intense challenges.

Case Study/Off-Campus:

At least one day per week the students will be interacting with innovators in their communities through case studies, on-campus speakers, or off-campus fieldwork.



Below you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Innovation Trimester. If you don't see the answer to your question here, please send an email to either Mrs. Solomon or Mr. MacClintic.

Who is eligible for the I-Tri?

Loomis students who are graduating in the spring of 2019. The student must be in good standing with the school and have a schedule such that all graduation requirements except the last term of English will be fulfilled prior to the Spring term of 2019.

Where will the I-Tri take place?

The "home base" of the I-Tri will be in the Pearse Hub for Innovation, situated on the ground floor of the newly renovated Campus Center building. However, the students in the program will use a variety of locations for their learning which will be determined by the activity they are doing at any given time.

Why should students participate in the I-Tri?

Students participating in the I-Tri will make a difference in people's lives by solving problems that matter. Students will take what they’ve learned at Loomis and beyond and put it into action.

Can students still participate in interscholastic athletics while in the I-Tri?

Yes! See our schedule page for more details on that.

How will the I-Tri appear on students' transcript?

It will appear as a term spent off-campus (ex: Mountain School, SEGL Leadership Program, etc.). There will be "courses" that students are enrolled in which will be individually evaluated, though the time in the program is not broken up into class times.

What happens to students' full-year classes?

The final grades for those classes will be determined at the end of the winter term. There would be no obligation to complete work for those classes during the spring term while students are in the I-Tri.

What about AP Exams . . .

Students would be able to sign up to take AP exams. This might require more work on the part of the student to independently finish preparation for the exams during the spring term. The student would have the support of the I-Tri faculty in this endeavor.

Do students need to be on campus every evening?

No. However, a student’s schedule might be determined by the nature of the project and will require some evening commitments.

How do students apply?

Great question! Students need to complete the application process by April 16 at 3 p.m. There will be an interview process as well.

Online Application Form

Signature Page

Is this program only for “A” students?

This program is not just for students at the top of their classes academically. If a student is interested and motivated, we want them!

Who is teaching/running this program?

There will be at least two Loomis Chaffee faculty members working with the students full-time. Additional members of the community might join us as the projects require.

How can parents get involved?

Once the program gets going, the project might require experts in various fields and other unique resources that parents can provide.

What about graduation requirements?

Students will receive credits for the term, including English. Other graduation requirements must be fulfilled (Art, PPR, etc.) prior to starting this program.

How will students spend their days?

The days will be spent in a traditional classroom in the Pearse Hub for Innovation as well as in the field. There will be time spent outside of the classroom researching, interviewing, observing, and getting feedback to aid students in their design process. There will be time spent in the classroom collaborating, designing, and prototyping. As the term progresses, the students might have more flexibility with their daily schedules, with regular check-ins from adults and other faculty members. For a sample schedule, visit the schedule page.

How does the I-Tri intersect with the rest of the Loomis community and its routines?

Here are some sample programs at Loomis Chaffee that might intersect with a student's time in the I-Tri, and our solutions to these.

Work job

Students will fulfill their work job requirement in the Pearse Hub for Innovation.


Students will keep their advisor for the entire year. During the program, if there are required advisor meetings, students in the I-Tri will attend those meetings.

Convocations, Class Meetings, Family Style Dinner, Clubs

Students will participate in required community events such as convocations, class meetings, and family style dinner. Students can participate in clubs as long as the meeting times do not conflict with the requirements of their I-Tri schedule.


Boarding students who are RAs will remain in their position during the spring term.