Salisbury Summer School immerses students in a curriculum and academic environment carefully structured to promote better organization and improved reading, writing, mathematical and executive skills. As a leading academic summer school in Connecticut, we employ experienced teachers; many teach at Salisbury School during the September to May academic year. In addition to classroom responsibilities, teachers serve as academic advisors and dorm monitors. A small number of highly motivated college undergraduates assist with classes, on dorm and in recreational activities.
Teachers in our Connecticut summer school program work closely with students and recognize the importance of a cooperative relationship with those they instruct. They take the time to get to know students in the classroom, on the playing fields, and on weekly excursions to area cities like New York and Boston, as well as nearby attractions in Connecticut. At the conclusion of the summer session, faculty advisors and instructors prepare detailed reports on students’ progress in each course with specific recommendations for the future.
Students attending attending Connecticut’s Salisbury Summer School take four academic classes during a six-period academic day. They enroll in one of four course clusters and can take two additional elective classes. Electives include Mathematics, Creative Writing and Environmental Science and meet for one period per day five days per week. A course cluster consists of two foundational classes: Composition and Critical Reading and Executive Skills or CRES. Each class meets for a double period per day, five days per week during the summer session.
Course clusters are designed to help improve skills and to prepare each student for their next academic milestone. Clusters are team-taught; the faculty plan and coordinate units to reinforce instruction and to articulate strategies to help students reach overarching milestones in their upcoming academic year. The following is a summary of the course cluster goals:
- Middle School Cluster for students entering grades 7-8: Students enrolled in this cluster focus on developing skills that will help each achieve success in high school. Executive skills include: planning, organizing, note taking, annotating and utilizing critical reading skills such as inference and prediction. Students are also introduced to the Harkness table as well as the Cornell note-taking system. As part of our academic summer school program, students can attend a three-part Admissions Workshop to help understand the independent school admissions process. This cluster of our summer school program also covers the basics including: finding the right school, interview skills, standardized test requirements and the importance of extracurricular activities in the candidate profile. ERB and SSAT elements are incorporated in the CRES curriculum and an SSAT prep class is offered by an outside company in the afternoons and on weekends at an additional cost.
- High School Cluster for students entering grades 9-10: Students enrolled in this cluster will focus on developing skills that will help optimize high school performance with an eye toward establishing the best academic record before entering the college process. Students are introduced to formal writing skills including writing a thesis statement, using active voice and the importance of strong topic sentences. CRES curriculum focuses on critical and analytical reading and thinking as well as how to contribute positively, actively and critically in an academic setting. Students interested in applying to independent schools may attend a three-part Admissions Workshop to help understand the independent school admissions process. They will learn the basics including: finding the right school, interview skills, standardized test requirements and the importance of extracurricular activities in the candidate profile. PSAT, SSAT and Readistep elements are incorporated in the CRES curriculum and an SSAT and SAT prep classes are offered by an outside company in the afternoons and on weekends at an additional cost.
- College Process Cluster for students entering grades 11-12: Students enrolled in this cluster will focus on preparing to enter into the college process. The Composition class will culminate with the creation of a 650-word essay based upon the most recent Common Application Essay Prompt. Students will also create an appropriate college résumé to highlight their most important high school achievements and to help create a unique personal narrative to accompany their application to college. Students will attend a weekly College Workshop that will review the important steps in the application process. They will also meet one-on-one with a qualified college counselor to help identify schools that best fit their academic profile. CRES curriculum will focus on SAT preparation and improving critical reading skills. An SAT prep class is offered by an outside company in the afternoons and on weekends at an additional cost.
- International Student Cluster for ESL and ELL students: Students enrolled in this cluster will focus on improving English proficiency. Students will be immersed in the language and gain an improved perspective on American cultural practices. International students may be in regular classes if they are proficient enough in the target language to do so. They may also move to a different summer academic program by recommendation of the faculty. International students are welcome to attend the College Workshop or the Independent School Admissions Workshop. The CRES curriculum will include elements of the TOEFL exam as well as instructing students to think critically and participate actively in an English speaking academic environment.