Summer Academy courses last for 85 minutes. The extended periods allow for innovative teaching and learning, as faculty and students have the time for laboratory work, film study, and guest and computer presentations. Each class usually has between eight to twelve students.

Mathematics  Summer Academy math courses are designed to teach mathematical reasoning at a variety of levels. Courses in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, and Calculus are taught in intensive five-week sessions, and carry with them the possibility of receiving one year of high school credit (must be pre-arranged with home school).

Languages  We offer writing and public speaking classes in the English language, and three levels of Spanish. In writing courses, students learn to write thesis statements, paragraphs, and developed essays. Public speaking courses give students the chance to speak in a setting that is supportive of this often challenging and difficult task. The three levels of Spanish, from beginner to advanced, are designed to improve students’ vocabulary, grammar, and overall fluency. We also offer ESL classes. English as a Second Language is tailored to meet the needs of the Summer Academy’s English-speaking, international students.

Science  The foundations of scientific thought are taught in our labs and classrooms as intensive courses in biology, chemistry, and physics incorporate small group work and experiments into classroom learning. Students also engage in independent research to solidify their understanding of scientific principles.

Computer Science  The effective use of technology in the classroom is an integral part of a Suffield education, and the Summer Academy is no different. A fully equipped technology center, student publications center, and multimedia lab are utilized by Summer Academy students.

Study Skills & Leadership 

During this five-week course, students are introduced to specific steps that increase learning efficiency. The course addresses the following topics:

Goal Setting  Students are given the task of setting both long and short-term goals. As part of this emphasis on goal setting, time management skills are introduced.

Note Taking  Students work to improve their note-taking in various mediums, such as text, video, and audio. Through the use of outlines, students learn to break down and summarize information.

Research  Students are taught various research methods and the importance of citation and bibliographies while conducting research.

Group Dynamics  Through a variety of activities, including outdoor leadership training, students learn how to work as a group and develop connections with other classmates.

Technology  Students see presentations on Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, and are asked to demonstrate competency in these areas.

The Arts

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the Summer Academy art offerings, from those who are novices in the woodshop and at the potter’s wheel to those who want to spend the summer creating a substantial art portfolio. You can take classes in the visual arts that include:

•  Photography
•  Painting and Drawing
•  Woodworking
•  Graphic Design
•  Ceramics
•  Music
•  Acting

Afternoon Activities

When students try a new sport, pick up a paintbrush, or step into the spotlight in the performing arts center, those students unearth talents and passions unknown to them—unknown because they are often untried. Healthy risk-taking is an important part of everyday life at the Summer Academy, and we encourage students to challenge themselves, and to step outside of their comfort zones. 

Athletics  Students have the option of participating in athletics in the afternoon. Options include soccer, ultimate Frisbee, swimming, and outdoor volleyball. 

Performing & Visual Arts  Students may choose from a variety of options including theater, music, or the use of the Tremaine Visual Art Center for photograph, ceramics, drawing, painting, and graphic design.