The Power of Summer@Carroll

The Power of Summer@Carroll
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog
Listen to Renée read this article aloud.

Mention summer school to any student and you’re likely to be hit with a force field of groans. The idea that, without the benefit of an extended school year, kids might “demonstrate substantial regression in learning skills” — to quote Massachusetts special education law — is not a pleasant fact to face. Mitigating summer slide is important, for sure. But at Summer@Carroll — our accredited summer school with afternoon enrichment opportunities — we’re able to accomplish far more.

Below, a few words about why Summer@Carroll is no ordinary summer school. And why, since 1975, it has been integral to our very mission, and who we are as a community.

At Summer@Carroll, we expand our impact. 

Committing to a full academic year at Carroll is not possible or necessary for all families. Five weeks over the summer can often provide an ideal touchpoint, allowing us to not only reach students and families we wouldn’t otherwise be able to, but truly make a difference in their lives.

This summer, 207 kids are enrolled in Summer@Carroll. Most are students new to the school. Some will enjoy a boost from us during the summer, returning to their home schools in the fall. Some are prospective students, wanting to see if Carroll feels like a good fit. For recently-admitted students, our summer program is a gentle on-ramp before they join their classmates in September.

No matter where they come from or where they’re headed, students at Summer@Carroll are met where they are. With a strengths-based approach, we build on their core reading, writing, and math skills, and support the continuation of their academic, cognitive, and social emotional growth. When they finish in August, they are often more ready than ever — academically and emotionally — for the school year ahead.

Orton-Gillingham Summer Training

At Summer@Carroll, we serve as a training ground for educators.

Another unique feature of a Carroll summer is that teachers have the opportunity to learn right alongside — and ultimately, thanks to — students in the Garside Institute for Teacher Training (GIFTT). An intensive, on-site teacher training program at Carroll, GIFTT intentionally overlaps with our summer program in order to provide an immersive, hands-on Orton-Gillingham (OG) learning experience for a range of educators, those in public, independent, religious-based, and charter schools.

This summer, 12 teacher trainees will spend their mornings tutoring students in pairs or small groups under the close supervision of experienced Carroll educators. In the afternoons, they will engage in coursework about various OG topic areas from many of those same Carroll educators. An invaluable learning experience for educators, GIFTT expands Carroll’s impact in a direct and meaningful way. What’s more, in collaboration with our summer students, it leads to tremendous, mutual discovery and development.

Carroll School Alumni at Summer@Carroll

At Summer@Carroll, we reconnect with our alumni. 

Making a Carroll summer even more powerful is the opportunity it affords to engage and reconnect with our graduates.

Overseeing our summer program this year are 128 faculty and staff, nearly 25 of whom are Carroll alumni. Most are college students or recent college graduates, who — in their words — want to give back to a school that gave them so much. Many also return as a way to gain exposure to education, to find out if teaching is a path they might like to pursue. As a result of their Carroll summer experience, a few even shift majors or decide to pursue graduate work in the field.

Our alumni are a tremendous support to summer students' social emotional growth. Returning to a place that they know so well — a place to which they truly belong, especially as alumni — they have no trouble reinforcing Carroll’s message for our campers: struggle is okay and learning can be fun, productive, and empowering. It is a compelling experience for our alumni and students alike.

Dyslexia Summer School

Whether as a student, an OG instructor, or a Carroll graduate, if you plan to be on our campuses this summer, I look forward to welcoming you. If you’re considering our summer program down the road, don’t delay. It’s a joyful, collaborative scene of kids and adults working hard and having fun. 

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Summer@Carroll — our accredited summer school with afternoon enrichment opportunities — is no ordinary summer school. Since 1975, it has been integral to our very mission, and who we are as a community.

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