Education Advice

Does Summer School Help?

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Content hosted for and provided by Tim Martin, Science Teacher, St. Vincent Pallotti High School

S-U-M-M-E-R S-C-H-O-O-L. Two words that no student wants to hear at the end of a long school year. The longing for a well-deserved break mixed with the negative stigma that these two words carry makes their feelings toward summer school understandable. This is especially true for students making the transition from middle school to high school. This transition marks a major step in social and academic development; so students may feel that they need to enjoy the time off to mentally prepare themselves for the change. On the other hand, there are many benefits of summer school that are not usually discussed. As a teacher, I would like to change the perception of summer school to one that is positive and beneficial by sharing my own experiences in teaching the Summer Enrichment Program at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, MD.
The Summer Enrichment Program is designed to help potential incoming freshmen bridge the gap between middle school and high school, both socially and academically. It allows the students to get familiar with the high school experience and expectations at St. Vincent Pallotti, which includes the concept of the “Pallotti Family”. By becoming familiar with the “Pallotti Way” ahead of time, the students have an easier time transitioning to a new school instead of experiencing a “culture-shock”.

The Summer Enrichment Program consists of sessions in both Math and English. In the Math portion, the students are brought up to speed on the mathematical concepts necessary for high school. The incoming freshmen come from different schools, both public and private, that teach math in different ways. Most of the students in Summer Enrichment that struggle in math find that the three-week program is beneficial, both in the improvement of grades and confidence. In the three years that I have taught Summer Enrichment, the average grade improves by an average of 20-30% by the end of the program (based on an initial evaluation/exam compared to an evaluation/exam at the end of the program). Because I do not allow calculators during the program, students who have completely relied on calculators in the past were able to do math by hand with confidence.

In the English portion, the students are brought up to speed on sentence structure, critical thinking, and proper ways to answer questions and write essays. In many high school classes, these are skills that are necessary to succeed, but may be missing in some students. At Pallotti, all incoming freshmen are required to read two novels that are chosen by the English department. In the Summer Enrichment Program, we use one of these novels to practice the necessary skills mentioned above. Each day, the students are required to read a certain number of chapters and answer questions that force them to think and search for deeper meaning in the text. In the three-weeks, the students not only improve in their ability to write and think critically, but they also complete half of their required summer reading.

Instead of thinking of summer school as a punishment for students who struggle, I believe it should be seen as a benefit to better prepare students for the future. The four years of high school are some of the most important years for a student to develop socially and academically and help determine the path for their futures. Why not get a chance to catch up, or even a head start, in a Summer Enrichment Program?

Habits for Success!

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Content hosted for and provided by Tom Durkin, Assistant Principal for Academics, St. Vincent Pallotti High School

St. Vincent Pallotti High School, “Laurel’s little gem,” is a college preparatory, coeducational Catholic high school preparing young men and women for the future one student at a time. For the past 95 years, Pallotti has served as the oldest, coeducational Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. 

Pallotti has developed curricula that provides students effective habits for success in our 21st century society. 

It all begins with Pallotti Transitions. This course is required for all incoming ninth graders. As tried and true educators know, ninth graders are a very heterogeneous group, with varying skills and skill gaps, as varied as their backgrounds. Pallotti Transitions teaches students successful study skills, inherently important organizational skills, and what we refer to as “the Pallotti way.” Transitioning from middle school to high school often serves as the primary obstacle for success in high school. Pallotti Transitions bridges those gaps and overcomes those obstacles so that every Panther has the opportunity to succeed. 

Tips On Preventing Back to School Bullying

Content provided by Tommy Lee, Safety Instructor East Coast Martial ArtTommy Lee, Safety Instructor East Coast Martial Arts

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time and they aren't going to go away anytime soon. In today's world, bulling is not just on the playground, at lunch and in the hallways, it's also in cyberspace.

In the past, children could leave bullying behind when they left school, but in todays environment bullies are using technology to continue to follow their victims.

Bullying is very difficult to escape once you become a target. The first step to stopping or slowing down bullying is to recognize if your child is 1) The Bully, 2) The Victim, 3) The Bystander. It's important to understand how to educate your child when you recognize he/she is in one of the three groups.

If your child is the victim, watch the short video on some defenses he or she can use.

Here are 3 quick tips on how to non-physically defend yourself from bullying:

Upcoming Events

Thu Aug 17, 2017 @12:00AM
Lakefront Summer Festival, Columbia
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @12:00AM
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, Gaithersburg
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @10:00AM -
Guitar Storytime, Annapolis
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Beach Party Bash, Baltimore
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Annapolis Art Walk
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 6:00PM - 08:30PM
Yappy Hour! Vodka, Pups, & Cookies, Cockeysville
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 6:30PM - 08:00PM
Twilight Thursdays on the Row, Owings Mills
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Tides & Tunes Summer Concert Series, Annapolis
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @12:00AM
Alice and the Book of Wonderland, Annapolis
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @12:00AM
Lakefront Summer Festival, Columbia
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @12:00AM
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, Gaithersburg
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Beach Party Bash, Baltimore
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @10:00AM - 11:00AM
Tales & Tails, Owings Mills
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @10:30AM -
Arts & Storytime, Annapolis
Fri Aug 18, 2017 @11:00AM - 04:00PM
Harbor Queen Cruises, Annapolis

Upcoming Events Inside Pages

Thu Aug 17, 2017 @12:00AM
Lakefront Summer Festival, Columbia
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @12:00AM
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, Gaithersburg
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @10:00AM
Guitar Storytime, Annapolis
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @10:00AM
Beach Party Bash, Baltimore
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 5:00PM
Annapolis Art Walk
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 6:00PM
Best of Baltimore, Baltimore
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 6:00PM
Yappy Hour! Vodka, Pups, & Cookies, Cockeysville
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 6:30PM
Twilight Thursdays on the Row, Owings Mills
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 6:30PM
Teen Movie Night, Prince Frederick
Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 7:00PM
Date Night Movies on the Potomac, National Harbor