To begin, classes over the summer will primarily be conducted through Microsoft Teams, Canvas, and Powerschool, similar to the way online school was held during quarantine. Moreover, the summer program will feature a combination of synchronous (live, face-to-face, online meetings) and asynchronous (independent work in the form of offline videos, reading assignments, etc.) education.
As with previous years, one of the core objectives of the summer program will be to foster community and the principle of ‘for and with others’ among its participants.
Mr. Cozort, the director of Bellarmine Summer Programs, states,
“We’re really going to try to focus on social connections and giving students opportunities to have healthy social connections, in addition to, obviously, an academic class that their priorities are around… We want to have good, fun, social content in there. So, even for the classes that [are] oriented more towards a final grade, an assessment, and credits, we want to make sure that we are facilitating good online communities, which is now the only place we can really have a community.”
“Which means, I think, a lot of times, we’ll have smaller meeting sizes, like 2, 3, 4 students at a time. It means giving students the opportunity to take control of the activities and drive the discussion or presentation.”
Because Bellarmine’s summer program will be held online this year, participants – including teachers and students – can come from anywhere in the world. In other words, since the program can be accessed from anywhere using a computer, both teachers and students from all across the world can participate in the program.
Mr. Cozort elaborates,
“The really exciting thing is that we are now effectively global. We can open summer school to anybody. And that goes both ways. We can have students from anywhere in the world, and we can also now have teachers from anywhere in the world. [For example], we have a teacher who’s going to be teaching a middle school history class from Valencia.”
In terms of course selection, Mr. Cozort suggests that students choose the courses they feel excited and passionate about, in addition to choosing their courses based on academic goals. He notes that there will be a wide variety of courses available during the summer.
According to Mr. Cozort,
“Mr. Medeiros has his guitar class… Computer science has some of the biggest set of offerings we’ve ever had. We’ve got cybersecurity with Mr. Lindemann, we’ve got computer architecture… Digital music production, song writing… There’s a ton of offerings.”
On a concluding note, Mr. Cozort comments that students are free to provide their input on matters regarding summer school.
In his own words: “The message here is, if you have ideas of any kind that you’d want for a class or anything, we can try to make it happen.”