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    • At the end of the summer, Pathfinder parents attended a "Share Fair" highlighting the student work in Mike Calderone's Theater class.

Hopkins Hosts Summer Academic Programs

Zoe Kim '20 Assistant News Editor
Although many students used their time off for traveling, eating, and sleeping, some kids found themselves on Hopkins campus during their summer vacation.
Along with the Havre Soccer Camp, Squash Camp and Pathfinder, Hopkins School hosted a total of seventeen academic summer courses for grades seven through twelve this past summer. These programs were available to all students who were looking to explore new courses during the summer. 

Several rising eleventh graders attended the Comprehensive SAT Review Course to prepare for the upcoming year. This three week program was open to sophomores through seniors. During this time, students were able to prepare for both the Math and Verbal sections of “the scary exam known as the SAT,” as stated by Madelena Kombo ’20. She emphasized that “through practice tests, videos, review and conversation,” they were able to “learn different techniques to properly conquer the not-so-daunting exam.”

Along with the SAT prep course, Hopkins  offered academic courses, most popular of which were Atlantic Communities II and III. During this time, the normal half-year ACIII class and full-year ACII class were condensed into intensive 6-week courses. For Katherine Takoudes ’20 and William Randazzo ’20, ACIII was their first summer course at Hopkins. Like Takoudes and Randazzo, many rising sophomores and juniors opt to take the summer history course with the plans of filling out their history requirement during summer, allowing them to double up on other classes during the academic year.  Owen Smyth ’20 described how a condensed course can be beneficial: “Being able to tackle entire units within the span of a day or two was incredibly helpful to [my] comprehension.” Although all three rising juniors found the homework to be “a little much at times,” including thirty plus pages of Give Me Liberty reading a night, all three students praised ACIII teacher David DeNaples for engaging them in class and making the course “feel alive and extremely relevant to today’s society.” Randazzo, Takoudes, and Smyth all emphasized that the “engaging teaching style,” the fun class environment, and the “fascinating topics and time period” of the curriculum made the ACIII summer course feel “a lot less like school.”

Although some students took classes over the summer, others taught their own classes in the Summer Pathfinder program held at Hopkins. The purpose of the Pathfinder summer school is to prepare students from New Haven public schools to apply to independent high schools. Robert Toulange ’20, who was once a Pathfinder student himself and is now a teacher, has been involved in the program for four years. Toulange described what it was like taking on a teaching role in the classroom: “I was really excited to become a teacher. It was my first time taking this role and I quickly found out that it took a lot of preparation, patience, and responsibility.” Julia Tellides ’20 shared her enthusiasm for the intensive five week program: “I really enjoyed working with the kids. They were so much fun to be around and they were hilarious.”Although the responsibilities for the two new teachers grew, both Tellides and Toulange found that getting to know the students was far more rewarding. After spending many hours a day with their students, “growing close to the kids became rather easy.” Toulange reflected on his time teaching in Pathfinder: “The program exceeded all my expectations. Not only did I have an upper hand but I learned what it meant to work hard, as a student and as a teacher. I also built many relationships with teachers and students that I still have to this day.” 

Katherine Takoudes reflected on her time on The Hill this summer: "Although summer school was an intense six weeks of studying, I still managed to have some fun this summer and I look forward to junior year."
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