High School Programs
for students who will have completed the U.S. equivalent of grades 8, 9, 10, or 11
Sunday, June 28 - Friday, July 31, 2020
- Academic Enrichment
- Immersion Geometry
- English Language Institute
- John F. Kennedy '35 Institute in Government
- SAT Test Prep (Meets after school day)
- ACT Test Prep (Meets after school day)
Our five-week High School Academic Enrichment program offers more than 50 courses designed to inspire your love of learning, discover a newfound passion, challenge your skills, and build upon your successes.
We offer both traditional and innovative courses in English, Languages, and the Humanities as well as in the STEAM fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
Students currently in grades 8, 9, 10, and 11 can also take an SAT or ACT Preparation Course. Group and individual tutoring options are offered by Pillars of Learning’s expert instructors for an additional fee.
Immersion Geometry is an intensive, briskly-paced course that covers the standard year-long geometry curriculum as students explore the fundamentals of Euclidean geometry and various applications of these concepts in the real world.
As time permits, algebra is incorporated to help students review and strengthen their problem-solving skills. After gaining experience making conjectures and testing hypotheses, students progress to writing formal deductive proofs, using paragraphs as well as the two-column format.
Immersion Geometry is appropriate for highly motivated students who have completed Algebra I. A graphing calculator is required. Note: Choate students who successfully complete this course may fulfill the diploma requirement in geometry. Please see Diploma Requirement and Other Offerings.
Students in Immersion Geometry can also take an SAT or ACT Preparation Course. Group and individual tutoring options are offered by Pillars of Learning’s expert instructors for an additional fee.
The English Language Institute (ELI) attracts talented students from around the world who have studied English for at least 3 years and who seek to enhance their English language skills in a supportive and rigorous five-week program.
Through the use of a wide variety of language learning strategies, ELI courses in reading and writing drive substantive changes in the student’s ability to read, write, speak, and understand spoken English.
Non-native speakers of English who have studied the language for at least 3 years in their home schools and who are conversant in English. With their application, all High School ELI candidates must submit one recent graded English composition with teacher’s comments and corrections, and an English translation of their transcript and school's grading system. Level placement is determined by a diagnostic test administered on the first day of classes.
Please note that a TOEFL or TOEFL Junior test is strongly recommended for English Language Institute and is required for all other programs.
Established to honor the memory of President Kennedy — a member of Choate’s Class of 1935 — The John F. Kennedy '35 Institute in Government is designed to stimulate your curiosity about public policy and your desire to serve the public interest.
As Kennedy Institute participants, students experience government in action during a multi-day trip to Washington, D.C., where they:
- Watch House and Senate debates
- Observe committee hearings on Capitol Hill
- Spend time with officials in The White House and Supreme Court
You will get a real insider's feel for politics by meeting with representatives of interest groups, national political parties, and the media. Program Courses Include: American Government and Politics, Foundations of Political Thought, and Topics in Public Policy.
While knowledge of politics is not necessary, the desire and willingness to engage in various topics—politics, economics, US history, and international affairs—is essential.
Pillars of Learning’s SAT class is eight sessions long. The first four sessions introduce the critical problem-solving methodologies and education about processing that students need to improve their scores. The last four sessions focus on tailored instruction with individualized worksheets that help students recognize patterns of errors, understand how to approach troublesome problems, and apply what they’ve learned in both difficult and complex contexts. Using proprietary metrics, the course collects data on what specific stimuli and problem types cause issues with the students’ cognitive processes, then disseminates that information to the students quickly via email. All test results and tailored recommendations are emailed to both parent and student so that future practice can be guided from the insights gained through the course. The course includes 10 hours of lectures and two full-length proctored practice tests. Class size is limited to 14 per section; students receive all requisite test materials including practice tests, prep book, and customized worksheets.
Individual SAT Instruction provides students with specialized tutoring in test preparation. Students enjoy the same material and methods utilized by the SAT Preparation Course, but in a one-on-one dynamic with an expert tutor. The first two sessions focus on methodologies and problem-solving in general and the remaining six sessions are tailored and customized based on patterns of errors in the student’s tests and practice materials. Individual sessions move at a faster pace and offer greater flexibility in adapting the curriculum to the specific needs of the students.
While similar in length and format to the SAT course, the ACT course offered by Pillars of Learning is built around the essential problem-solving methodologies and education about processing for success on the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections of the ACT. While the first four sessions build those skills, the last four sessions focus on tailored and individualized worksheets and group work sessions. Through that variety of practice, students recognize their patterns of errors, understand how to approach troublesome problem types, and apply what they’ve learned in the most challenging of contexts so that the test itself feels familiar if not predictable when students take the actual ACT. Using proprietary metrics, the course collects data on what specific stimuli and problem types cause issues with the students’ cognitive process, then disseminates that information to the students quickly via email. All test results and tailored recommendations are emailed to both parent and student so that future practice can be guided from the insights gained through the course. The course runs 10 hours of lectures and two full length proctored practice tests. Class size is limited to 14 per section; students receive all requisite test materials including practice tests, prep book, and customized worksheets.
Individual ACT Instruction provides students with specialized tutoring in test preparation. Students enjoy the same material and methods utilized by the ACT Preparation Course, but in a one-on-one dynamic with an expert tutor. The first two sessions are focused on methodologies and problem-solving in general and the remaining six sessions are tailored and customized based on patterns of errors in the student’s tests and practice material. Individual sessions move at a faster pace and offer greater flexibility in adapting the curriculum to the specific needs of the students.
Sunday, June 28 - Friday, July 24, 2020
The Theater Arts Institute offers a four-week total theater immersion experience. Students learn the process of theater through daily classes designed to explore and enhance their skills in acting, singing, set and costume design, playwriting, and dance.
In addition, students attend nightly laboratory sessions to work together on performance and design projects and attend master classes in movement, voice and diction, improvisation, lighting design, children’s theater, and stage management. All aspects of the dramatic experience are highlighted, with opportunities for young artists to grow in many areas.
Throughout the summer, students complete scene work in classical and modern drama, rehearse and perform numbers from a variety of musicals, and design set and costume pieces for different periods. Students also take field trips to professional theater and artistic performances throughout New York and New England.
This program is designed for the young person who is serious about expanding their knowledge and willing to take risks in all areas of theater.
Session I: Sunday, June 28 - Friday, July 10, 2020
Session II: Sunday, July 12 - Friday, July 24, 2020
- Service & Society (Sessions I & II)
- Documentary Filmmaking (Session I & II)
- Concepts in Algebra II (Sessions I & II)
- Science Workshops (Sessions I & II)
- Introduction to Oceanography (Session II)
- Writing Workshops (Sessions I & II)
Service and Society offers students a two-week experience of doing, creating, and reflecting in an array of settings close to the Choate campus. Hands-on opportunities equip students with the knowledge to become change-agents in their home communities. Recognizing the importance of service in the lives of youth, the program offers an academically reflective service-learning experience. Through daily excursions to nearby organizations, students learn about topics relating to socioeconomic inequities and their subsequent impact on communities and individuals, the experiences of refugees and displaced peoples, the importance of environmentalism, the importance of understanding and combating food insecurity, and ways to provide for special needs populations including eldercare. Students view documentary films and hear personal stories from those affected by the topics addressed at the program's service sites. Group discussions provide students with an expanded view of some of the persistent forces resulting in societal issues. Working together as an internationally diverse group of students and sharing reflections on the volunteer experience gives program participants the opportunity to learn about similarities and differences between the challenges faced in Connecticut and those faced in other parts of the world. Students leave with the tools and inspiration to contribute to positive change in their home environment.
Three evenings a week, students view documentary films and hear personal stories from those affected by the topics addressed at the program's service sites.
Matriculating and current Choate students may receive Choate community service credit while participating in Service and Society, please see Diploma Requirement and Other Offerings.
The Documentary Filmmaking program offers a two-week introduction to documentary filmmaking for students going into 9th grade and above. Week one focuses on identifying the strategies and tools of documentary filmmakers through screenings and discussion of a wide array of documentary content. Week two focuses on a shooting and editing practicum and the production of a documentary short film.
This hands-on course offers real world skills and experience in project planning and development, interviewing subjects, and using film to tell a story. Guest artists will visit the classroom to share their professional journeys and offer workshops in their area of expertise.
Evening lab hours complement class day sessions and enable students to accomplish even more with their projects.
This workshop is designed to give students an introduction to some of the core topics and functions covered in a typical Algebra II course. Families of functions (linear, absolute value, quadratic, cubic, reciprocal, root, exponential, and logarithmic) will be covered with a focus on domain, range, and transformations. The course will explore composition of functions as well as inverse functions. Solving equations will be taught as a means to help analyze functions and graphs. After further study of the families of functions, polynomial and rational functions may be introduced. Connections will be made between functions and their real world applications. Time permitting, the course may include other topics such as: systems of equations or inequalities, matrices, regression analysis, or conic sections.
A graphing calculator is required (the math department recommends the use of TI-84 series calculators for this course). Prerequisite: Algebra I
Concepts in Chemistry
(Offered in Sessions I & II)
Designed to be an introduction to some of the central concepts in first-year Chemistry courses, this course aims to expose students to some of the more challenging parts of the traditional Chemistry curriculum so that they have a greater chance for success. A scientific calculator is required.
Prerequisite: Algebra I.
Concepts in Physics: Mechanics
(Offered Session I)
This workshop focuses on increasing student comfort level in this often challenging discipline. The course focuses on several introductory topics including kinetics and Newton’s Laws of Motion in order to help students transition into their prospective high school courses. Hands-on experimentation provides students practical examples of the phenomena they study in a traditional physics curriculum. In addition, students are exposed to problem-solving techniques that support quantitative analysis. A scientific calculator is required.
Prerequisite: Algebra I.
Concepts in Physics: Waves And Light
(Offered Session II)
Session II of this workshop focuses on several introductory topics included in a study of sound and light waves such as interference, refraction, diffraction, and dispersion in order to help students transition into their prospective courses. Prerequisite: Algebra I (Concepts in Physics - Mechanics is preferred, but not required.)
Introduction to Oceanography exposes students to skills and technologies used by geologists and oceanographers. Topics include topographic and bathymetric maps, rock identification, salt marsh habitats, ocean currents, tides, and the health of our oceans. When possible, students experience science happening in real time by connecting with researchers on board the exploration vessel Nautilus. Numerous field trips provide opportunities to learn about biotic and abiotic factors, and to interact with the myriad of creatures that live in an estuary such as plankton, crabs, and a variety of fish. Recent trips have included the Peabody Museum at Yale University, Mystic Aquarium, Hammonasset State Park, and a marine life excursion on Long Island Sound.
The Writing Workshops help students enrich their skills as readers, writers, and critical thinkers. Students are grouped into sections by age and ability, allowing them to receive instruction with age-appropriate curriculum, geared toward their specific interests.
Led by a variety of talented and experienced faculty, Writing Workshops provide an opportunity for students to write and read in a supportive and intellectually-challenging environment.
Students in grades 8 and 9 take Writing Workshop Level 2 and students in grades 10 and 11 take Writing Workshop Level 3 (Visual Storytelling or Writing Truth & Crime).
2-week programs can be combined to create your own 4-week program:
|Writing Workshops||Science Workshops||Concepts in Algebra II|
|Documentary Filmmaking||Service & Society||Introduction to Oceanography|
2020 Course Descriptions coming soon!
A Day in the Life:
|7:15-7:55||Breakfast with dormmate. Make-your-own-omelets!|
|8:15-8:45||IMMERSION GEOMETRY Morning Session. Review homework and go over questions. Present problems on board.|
|8:45-10:30||Begin new material. Prove theorems. Work through examples.|
|10:30 BREAK||Grab a Latte at the Tuck Shop.|
|12:30-1:15||IMMERSION GEOMETRY Afternoon Session Review issues with assignments. Cover new material.|
|1:45 BREAK||Hangout in Lanphier Center.|
|2:40||Class Day ends.|
|3:00-3:45||Grab ice cream downtown (2 blocks away!)|
|5:30-6:00||Dinner with friends.|
|8:00-10:00||Study Hours. Study for tomorrow’s quiz and go for extra help!|
|10:00-10:30||Study Break. Thai food delivery!|
|10:30-11:00||Finish homework. Call home.|