Upper School


Mini-term is a unique and exciting component of the Bentley experience and is a highly-valued time in our community when students slow down and engage deeply in an area of interest.
The goal of the one-week Mini-term experience is for students to expand their ways of learning, to take risks by experiencing something new, and to challenge their ways of thinking through experiential and creative learning. 

Students pose questions and explore answers in order to have a personally meaningful experience while also learning to collaborate, to consider multiple perspectives, and to develop practical, relevant, and applicable skills. During this time, students come to better understand themselves as learners, which becomes the basis for future learning and prepares students to approach their year-long courses with fresh perspectives. 

Embracing Adventure

Students embark on a series of adventures in the Bay Area that push them to think about the real-world application of their studies, and engage in service learning with visits to specific outreach programs of interest.

Previous trips/courses: 

  • Snow Camping and Backcountry Skiing in the Sierra
  • Climbing, Photography, and Painting in Bishop, CA
  • Astronomy in the American Southwest
  • Civil Rights Tour of the American South
  • Social Justice Retreat at the University of Oregon
  • Ireland: Land of Saints and Scholars
  • Museums of the Bay Area: Institutional Power and Representational Practice
  • Being a Student Mentor at Manzanita School
  • Marine Biology
  • Biking in the Bay
  • Design, Build, and Play Musical Instruments
  • Animal Photography in Zoological Facilities
  • I’m on My Own...So What’s For Dinner?

- Willoughby Winograd '18 (Stanford University - Major: Physics & Philosophy)

“ I chose my double major because of an incredible Mini-term trip that combined science, history, and philosophy. We went to CERN, the world-renowned particle physics lab in Switzerland. Bentley opened my eyes to how important the humanities and sciences are to making a difference in this world. ”

K - 8 Campus

1 Hiller Drive
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 843-2512

9 - 12 Campus

1000 Upper Happy Valley Rd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-2101