Students and their families filled the seats of Hubbard Performance Hall for the welcoming assembly as the Loomis Chaffee Summer Program kicked off its eighth summer of learning and discovery on Monday, June 24.
At the assembly, Jim O'Donnell, director of the Summer Program, said he looks forward to another season of helping students grow, learn, reflect, and discover themselves through the five-week program on the Island. He noted that the Summer Program objectives reflect the mission of Loomis Chaffee to foster in young people a commitment to the "best self and the common good," but fun is the most important goal of the program, including the fun of learning and of enjoying summer activities with friends.
Nearly 180 students entering grades 7 through 12 enrolled in this summer's program and they come to Loomis from across the United States and from several international locations, including Spain, Germany, Turkey, China, South Korea, Ukraine, and Indonesia.
Summer Program course offerings are wide and varied. Participants in the Enrichment Program elect courses focused on an area of interest, such as robotics, forensic science, creative writing, and digital photography. Intensive math offerings enable some students to advance their academic progression in math. And many participants join the Summer Program's standardized test preparation courses.
This year students can elect from a series of two-week Immersion Courses. These courses include Design Thinking for Business and Design Thinking for the Common Good, taught in the school's new Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI) by Scott MacClintic '82, director of the PHI; and a writing immersion course taught by Loomis English teacher Jeff Scanlon '79, a former director of the Summer Program.
A group of 26 returning Summer Program students and current Loomis students are serving as summer proctors as part of the Common Good Leadership course, taught by Loomis faculty member Lillian Corman and Summer Program Dean of Students Jake Smith.
Outdoor learning experiences, excursions, physical exercise, and athletics games round out the summer curriculum, and ample time is set aside for relaxation, restoration, socialization, and reflection as a means for self-discovery. Destinations for group trips will include Boston, New York City, and Six Flags New England Amusement Park, and there will be plenty of summertime outdoor fun, such as barbecues, campfires, and a July 4th celebration.
At Monday's kick-off, participants and their families received an overview of the program and met the Summer Program teaching faculty and faculty interns. In addition to Scott, Jeff, and Lillian, several other Loomis teachers are members of the summer faculty, including English teacher Dan Dowe; math teachers Sam Higgins, Curt Robison, and Anne Sher; science teachers Erica Gerace, Ewen Ross, and Dave Samuels; and history teachers Mat DeNunzio and Lauren Williams.
For more information, connect to the Summer Program page of the Loomis Chaffee website.