Summer School Friends

Wanting to fit in. Searching for your identity. Navigating relationships with your parents and your peers.

Let’s face it, middle school is hard. On top of dealing with all of the physical changes that accompany puberty, adolescents are also faced with social and emotional challenges. Many are starting to develop a sense of who they are as individuals while simultaneously wanting to just fit in with their friends.

Researchers have found that being 12, essentially, is not unlike being a toddler. Rapid cognitive development leads to newfound abilities and skills that ultimately result in frustration and boundary testing. Middle school can be even harder for under-resourced students, with no access to enrichment opportunities that make the difference in school success.

The Risk

Research shows middle school is a “make or break” period that can either put a student successfully on the path to high school, college and career—or begin a downward trajectory of low achievement.

Without extra support, students are more likely to get in trouble and fall behind. It’s a domino effect resulting in lower grades, higher rates of high school dropouts and lower rates of college matriculation.

Our Model

The Aim High model accomplishes two goals: it prevents summer learning loss and prepares students to be a step ahead the next school year. From project-based learning to team teaching, we embrace a kind of education that innovates on every level.

How Aim High is Different

Aim High is one of the few free summer learning and enrichment programs in the Bay Area that focuses on the make-or-break middle school years. Our program is defined by three unique characteristics:

Our Teaching Model

All classes at Aim High are team-taught by a veteran teacher and teaching assistant/intern. By putting multiple teachers in every classroom, Aim High maintains a low student-to- teacher ratio, while providing young adults—including many Aim High graduates—hands-on teaching experience.

Our Approach to Learning

Our award winning, tuition-free program weaves together rigorous, project-based academics, enrichment activities (photography, computer coding, creative writing), and a strong career and college awareness curriculum that demystifies the college experience and emphasizes A-G requirements. Graduating students also participate in a weeklong outdoor education program at a regional park.

Our Focus on Social and Emotional Development

In our hallmark adolescent development class, students explore health, relationships, and community, with an emphasis on self-reflection, leadership and civic engagement.