Innovative Courses Draw Students to Summer Program

During a summer when plans for traditional warm-weather activities — sleep-away camps, vacations — were upended by COVID-19, a nascent program, Masters Summer Learning Initiative, gave students the chance to explore new interests and passions. 

Designed and team-taught by Masters faculty, the program included 23 remote courses that complemented the School’s existing curriculum. MSLI also included Mighty Moments, a series of short, thought-provoking talks by faculty that explored a range of questions and topics related to the School’s mission.

With classes including Math Throughout History, Japanimation: Contemporary Japan Through Pop Culture, Behavioral Economics, Code It With Thy Might, and The Lives of Greek and Roman Soldiers, MSLI courses appealed to a variety of interests. Glenn Rodriguez, a middle school Spanish teacher who co-directed the program with upper school English teacher Miriam Emery said, “It was such a good feeling to see the wide range of classes that these talented teachers offered the students. Upon first reading them, I thought, ‘Wow, these kids are so lucky!’” 

Sage Weinstock ’24, who is new to Masters this year, signed up for Let’s Talk About Art and Creative Writing Summer Workshop. Weinstock had been feeling nervous about starting a new school in the fall and noted that “being able to meet some of the students and teachers quelled a lot of my fears.” One of the most surprising aspects of her experience was how comfortable she felt speaking up during class: “I didn’t feel pressured or out of place.” 

In addition to connecting students with each other and their teachers, Rodriguez, who taught four courses, is confident that the unique variety of offerings will have an impact well after the temperatures drop: “I am certain that the faculty planted seeds which may lead to lifelong hobbies and interests for everyone.”

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