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Are You Ready for Summer Yet?

Are you ready for summer yet? It's incredible how quickly the season sneaks up on us. February and March may feel like the doldrums of a fading winter, but April and May tend to race by like a pack of ravenously hungry...well...choirboys!


If you are looking for summer programs, give the Saint Paul's Choir School summer bridge program a try. Register and learn more about it here.


A version of the article below appeared previously in the Pilot. Read the original here.


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In education, we know summer as a time of adventure, freedom, and potential. Without the structure of school, students benefit from play, exploration, family, and friends as sources of social and practical learning. Imagine the biggest lessons that Brother and Sister Bear learn in each entry into the Berenstain Bears series. It is precisely those kinds of lessons that are an essential part of summer, childhood, and – yes – education, too.


It is also the time when academic gains can be rolled back – not because they aren’t meaningful, but because time-on-task in writing and arithmetic is spent on such earthly matters as facing down the fears of riding a roller coaster for the first time, canoeing with friends and family on a camping trip, or plotting how to spend a well-earned allowance.


This process has a name, though it paints the summer as more of a bummer. That name is “summer learning loss,” and it has been affecting students since at least the early twentieth century when it was first studied systematically. More likely, it has been affecting students since schooling began!


Imagine the biggest lessons that Brother and Sister Bear learn in each entry into the Berenstain Bears series. It is precisely those kinds of lessons that are an essential part of summer, childhood, and – yes – education, too.

According to a Brookings Institute study, drops in student performance over the two-and-a-half month summer are equivalent to missing another month of in-class instruction. (https://www.brookings.edu/research/summer-learning-loss-what-is-it-and-what-can-we-do-about-it/). It is a literal two steps forward, one step back scenario: on average, the cost of every two months of summer is a full month backslide in academics.


If you are both concerned about summer learning loss and you want your child to learn those Berenstain Bears-style lessons in fun, challenge, and sociability, Saint Paul’s Choir School is once again offering its bridge program. The Summer Program at Saint Paul’s runs from June 19th to the 23rd and from August 21st to the 25th. It is designed to ease students out of school and into summer and, again, from summer to school.


The program specifically highlights choral arts and an entry to music through classes in rhythm, movement, and rehearsals. Other classes in the program highlight critical thinking, including improv theater, code-breaking (spy skills!), fine arts, and pinewood derby.


The program is open to boys and girls ages four-and-a-half to eleven. Learn more at www.saintpaulschoirschool.us/summerprogram.


Patrick Moran is Assistant Principal (pmoran@saintpaulschoirschool.us or 617-868-8658) at Saint Paul’s Choir School in Harvard Square, a Grade Three through Eight boys school serving Saint Paul’s Parish community with choral excellence.



Our youngest students learn rhythm through movement.


PHOTO: Benedikt Ehrhardt



Fine arts and drawing are a popular outlet for critical thinking, especially during the summer months.


PHOTO: Benedikt Ehrhardt



The summer program’s junior staff consists of alumni and their siblings who are in high school or college. Even they benefit from “off duty” classes where they learn rather than teach.


PHOTO: Benedikt Ehrhardt



Students enjoy chorus rehearsal with Ms. Yerim Kang.


PHOTO: Benedikt Ehrhardt



Students’ pinewood derby cars race to a photo finish!


PHOTO: Benedikt Ehrhardt


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