May Session

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Because the Missouri Academy is considered a high school and Northwest is in school for fewer days than the regulation for Missouri high schools, the Academy has to hold classes during May, in what is aptly called May Session.

May sessions are generally considered some of the best times at the Academy. Since there is only one class to worry about, afternoons and evenings are largely free for students to pursue their own interests.


In the past, between 4 and 6 courses have been offered during May Session. As of May 2010, however, 6 classes are offered, with Calculus II and General Microbiology being offered almost every year. These classes are taken in the mornings from Monday to Thursday, generally starting at either 7:30 or 10:10, depending on the course load. As a general rule, a four credit-hour course will start at 7:30, and a three credit-hour course will start at 10:10. Note that Calculus II and Micro are five days per week classes.

The philosophy of May courses was once that students would be offered classes that wouldn't be available during the school year and would most likely be of interest to someone at a science, math, and computing school, but the trend recently has been to offer humanities courses because students are required to take at least one humanities course in order to graduate.

Previously, it was the custom to have a large number of departments to submit class proposals, and then allow the students to vote on them. In 2004-2005, when this newer policy was first implemented, there was a popular reaction and a minor degree of choice was allowed. For several years (2007-2009), the system in place was one where three classes appear to be set: Calculus II, General Microbiology, and Western Civilization II, with two others decided upon by vote among the students.

As of 2010, however, students no longer have a vote in which classes are offered. Courses are pre-selected each year, with Calculus II and General Microbiology being the only courses typically offered yearly. The offering of Western Civilization II seems to have ended with the retirement of Dr. Frucht in 2009.

During May session, study hours are also different from usual. They only last one hour, rather than the traditional two, and may start at either eight or nine, depending on the year.

Classes of May Sessions 2005 and Earlier[edit]

Partial List of chosen classes:

Classes of 2006's May Session[edit]

Classes of 2007's May Session[edit]

Classes of 2008's May Session[edit]

Classes of 2009's May Session[edit]

Classes of 2010's May Session[edit]

First May Session when classes offered was not put to a student vote

Classes of 2011's May Session[edit]

Classes of 2012's May Session[edit]

Classes of 2013's May Session[edit]

Community Service[edit]

In the past, students were expected to partake in community service during May Session for several hours a day, daily; usually from about 1PM to 4PM. The idea was for Missouri Academy students to give a bit back to the community around them, and every student was required to partake in a community service activity. Depending on the colloquim instructor, some colloquim classes would spend their second half of the course encouraging students to decide which community service projects they would like to lead and participate in. However, any student was allowed to organize their own project.

Past Community Service Projects[edit]

  • Tutoring for classes offered during May Session
  • Crocheting for the Salvation Army
  • Academy Clean up
  • Maryville Clean up
  • Helping elderly with outside jobs
  • Humane Society
  • Historical Museum
  • Mozingo Lake
  • Maryville Library
  • Recruitment video
  • Study guide for future classes
  • Various physics projects
  • Newman Center
  • Maryville Aquatic Center

As of May 2009, community service projects were dropped in favor of student-lead ELMS projects. (see below)

ELMS Projects[edit]

In May of 2009, partially due to budget restraints and partially due to a lack of means to properly transport all of the students to their respective Community Service projects, the Academy did not require community service for all students during May and replaced it with student-led ELMS Projects.

ELMS is an abbreviation for "Experiential Learning in the May Session." The idea is to allow students to lead mini-classes or projects for other students. The projects may involve anything from learning guitar to painting a senior mural. Some students choose to lead community service-related projects as well, though it is not a requirement that any student lead or participate in this type of project, and many students do not. It is also possible for students to be selected to tutor May Session courses as an ELMS project.

ELMS projects typically last the first three weeks of May Session, although some ELMS projects may only meet for one or two weeks. Groups typically meet during a selected time Monday-Thursday, although some projects may meet outside of regular hours if the students are particularly dedicated or interested. This type of thing is especially common for projects running on a timed deadline, such as the Senior Mural.

During the last week of May Session, student project leaders are required to turn in a PowerPoint presentation discussing their project, and its benefits to the community. Though all presentations are reviewed, several presentations are selected to be given in front of the Academy later that week.


In May session, meals are also rather different from the rest of the year. All food is served in JW's Grill in the Union, unless of course the Academy Student Government asks them to close because SGA is providing a voluntary meal and accordingly wants to remove all other options. During breakfast and lunch on weekdays, you order from a menu that wouldn't seem terribly out of place at a Hardee's (or Carl's Jr.), and pick from a wide array of chocolate and sugar for your deserts. For dinners and the poorly named weekend brunches, there is a buffet consisting of a grabbag of food available in the food court during the rest of the year. May Session's food is universally demeaned for its poor quality and many students joke about losing weight during this time of the year as a result.