For the Yonkers Public Schools, learning does not end in June. Instead, District and grant-funded summer programs extend educational outreach to students, making year-round enrichment possible.
The District’s Summer Collegiate Academy affords 200 high school participants the chance to earn two to three college credits at the minimal cost of $150. With 13 course offerings and classes taught by professors from Pace University, Manhattan, Mercy, and Monroe Colleges, the College of Westchester, and Westchester Community College, the month-long program has tripled student participation since last summer and has caught the attention of neighboring communities seeking to enroll their own students in the program. Based on its success and growing interest, the District looks to expand the Academy’s outreach for 2014.
Programs at local colleges and universities not only provide high school students an introduction to campus life but also offer arenas to explore post-secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) study. At Manhattan College School of Engineering, eleventh and twelfth grade students launch an examination of the different fields of engineering and the post-secondary study required for each. At Pace University, eleventh and twelfth grade students enter the school’s science labs to investigate the environment from a regional and global perspective. Science discovery continues at Sarah Lawrence College where eleventh and twelfth graders research molecular biology, organic and synthetic chemistry, experimental physics and developmental robotics. Finally, at Mercy College, students analyze the importance of multidisciplinary study through the infusion of science into mathematics.
Sarah Lawrence College also invites aspiring writers and poets in grades ten through twelve to its annual Summer Writer’s Workshop. The program guides participants through the exploration of creative expression translated through both the written word and the arts.
Creative expression is further investigated by Early College High School students who participate in a special one-week art institute at Lehman College. In addition, twelfth grade students from Early College travel to the Jacob Burns Film Center to learn about capturing narrative through digital media and the aspects of production required for this unique type of storytelling
Opportunities for middle years students focus on STEM enrichment as well as English language arts activities. The program, “Girls Go TechKNOW,” welcomes female students in grades seven and eight to the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center where they learn how to design, construct and operate robots. At Youth Theatre Interactions, seventh and eighth grade students enjoy various courses in the arts and digital media. During a four-day visit to the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, African American students in grade seven journey through time to explore their heritage through the investigation of history.
Elementary school students gain knowledge while teachers enhance their expertise at the District’s annual Camp SMART Learning Labs for grades kindergarten through eight. Project-based lessons integrate technology into the curriculum and focus on Common Core Learning Standards. The 18-day program provides students with personalized instruction while the participants infuse 21st Century skills into all activities. Professionals from Teachers College at Columbia University and Iona College are active partners in the classroom, engaging in hands-on projects with the students and teachers while infusing professional development in these unique learning labs.
The Special Education Extended Year Program at Westchester Hills School 29 welcomes 150 students in grades kindergarten through twelve from District, private and parochial schools. The program serves the population that requires 12-months of education under State-mandate and includes severely disabled, physically disabled, mentally impaired, wheelchair bound, and autistic students. The program is staffed by a highly dedicated and skilled team of professionals trained to meet the unique needs of every student.
Over 1,500 students in grades eight through twelve who were unsuccessful in meeting the requirements during the school year to advance are attending the District’s Secondary Summer Session to make up course credit and/or regents examinations. Out-of-District students were invited to enroll at a tuition cost of $300/per course. Successful completion of the Summer Session equates to grade-level advancement in September or graduation. Summer Session Commencement takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 22 at Yonkers Middle/High School.