3rd - 8th Grade Academic Enrichment


“When I came to Summer on the Hill the summer after second grade, I felt like I was really thinking hard for the first time in so long.
I knew that succeeding here wasn’t going to be easy, and this made me work harder. I promised myself that I was never going to quit…

And here I am, making my 8-year-old self proud.”  Ericka, 8th Grade Valedictorian, 2017

The Grade 3-8 Program is the core of Summer on the Hill. A six-year commitment for students and parents, the program builds a strong foundation in language arts, math, and science. The year-round program consists of:

•    a five-week summer program,
•    an academic-year Saturday program, and
•    individual guidance on middle and high school choices.

During the Academic Year

Academics: The Grade 3-8 program emphasizes academics throughout the year, with accelerated classes taught by experienced teachers from independent, parochial, and public schools. SOH’s science classes include discussions, labs, and instruction in report-writing. In language arts, students read and discuss complete works appropriate for their grade (e.g., Romeo and Juliet for 8th graders) and participate in creative activities, such as the writing and publishing of a newspaper about Greek gods (5th grade). Math teachers use innovative means to introduce and reinforce math concepts.

Guidance on School Choices: The Director of Placement holds group and individual meetings with students and parents to offer advice on applying to NYC metro area middle and high schools. The Director of Placement works with families throughout the school application process.

Progress Reports: At the end of the winter and spring trimesters, and at the end of the summer program, teachers write progress reports on students’ work that are sent to parents.

Five-Week Summer Program

The five-week Grade 3-8 summer program immerses new and returning students into SOH. The schedule includes daily, intensive instruction in language arts, math, and science. Students additionally have instruction in athletics and the visual and performing arts. The program is held Monday - Friday, from 8:30 -4:30.

Summer program staff includes 24 academic teachers, 5 coaches, 5 administrators, and 30 high school students who are trained to be mentors to the younger children. Enrollment for the summer program is generally between 210 and 230 students.

High School Programs

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“The Mentor Fellowship…helped me start thinking about colleges and taught me about the process early so I feel more prepared.
I liked hearing from experienced mentors who were once in my shoes.”
Catherine, 11th grade

The Summer on the Hill High School Program helps alumni of our Grade 3-8 Program make the transition to high school and apply to college. Two-thirds of our students are the first in their families to attend college and benefit from the ongoing encouragement of the HS Program.

Between 2004 and 2017, more than 92% of our high school graduates enrolled at a college or university. Among those attended are Amherst, Barnard, Boston College, Bowdoin, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, Middlebury, MIT, NYU, Smith, U Penn, Wesleyan, Williams, and Yale. 

The High School Program:

  • improves students’ scores by holding no-cost SAT & ACT prep classes during the academic year

  • maintains a college-going rate for our high school seniors of 92%+

  • offers timely information to students and parents through financial aid & college admissions workshops, and by taking students on college tours

  • develops leadership skills of selected high school students through their work as Summer Mentors

  • prepares students for success beyond the classroom through workshops and discussions with SOH alumni and other young professionals. Topics include: resume writing, interviews skills, financial literacy and public speaking.

SOH’s High School Program is for SOH students only. During the academic year, SOH offers classes and activities to prepare SOH students for college and maintain the SOH community for program alumni. A sample of academic year programming includes:

Saturday Test Prep Classes

SOH offers 18 Saturday mornings of PSAT & ACT prep in English and Math to 10th and 11th grade alumni of the core academic program at no cost. In addition, 9th grade students participate in a year-long Mindfulness and Leadership Seminar. Small, personalized classes are taught by experienced instructors.

College Admissions and Financial Aid Workshops

College admissions professionals help students and their families understand the admissions process and offer advice on applying for financial aid.

College Visits

SOH chaperones small groups of students on day and overnight tours of colleges in the northeast. In 2016 & 2017, Summer on the Hill took students on tours of: American University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, Lafayette College, University of Maryland, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University and Temple University. Students said they enjoyed ‘getting the real deal’ about college by going in-person to walk through campuses, eat lunch in dining halls, talk to student guides, and meet with SOH alumni in college.

College Counseling

In the fall, the Director of the HS Program counsels individual seniors and reviews their college essays. In the spring, the Director meets with students to discuss their acceptances and financial aid packages, and helps them make the best decision for college.

HS Mentor Fellowship Program

This program connects SOH high school students with young NYC professionals who nurture student skills and knowledge in areas outside of their academics such as: interview skills, applying for summer jobs and internships, resume writing, and college essay editing. The Mentor Fellowship culminates in an annual outing for all participants. Past outings have included the Whitney Museum, Ellis Island and miniature golf.

Davis Scholarships

Through the generosity of the Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation, Summer on the Hill is able to offer a total of $15,000 in scholarships every year to alumni enrolled in Catholic high schools. Priority is given to those with the greatest demonstrated financial need.