Hillcrest husky summer academy

Canyons School District Administration

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Husky Strong Summer Academy is a way for incoming freshman to get a head start in high school. This academy invites students to join if they feel unprepared for their upcoming high school years.

Hillcrest High’s principal, Gregory Leavitt, said, “We wanted kids to have a good transition from middle school to high school, there are lots of kids who struggle in middle school and we don’t want them to struggle in high school.”

Students will learn lots of different skills earlier than the rest of the students in their grade. Leavitt says, “We wanted them to start on the high school assignments so they were a little ahead, so they will go through how to write papers in English, they will go through how to do the first two chapters of Math, they will go through the Geography skill and the Science vocabulary, so when they hear it from their teacher it wouldn’t be the first time.”

An English teacher at Hillcrest High School, Ani Arakelian, also teaches at the summer academy. She has taught at the academy for 2 years and thinks it is the best option for students coming into high school to get ahead.

Arakelian says, “I’m hoping that these students will see what high school is like and have skills to help support them through the transition…We have had all levels of students come to the academy and they’ve each gotten different things out of it so it can help a lot of different students.”

There is also a bonus for students joining this summer academy, “We give them $5 a day, so they can earn about $120 to $150 just by coming everyday and making sure they are engaged and are doing their work… We give the $250 if they complete all of their work by the end of the summer so they can go buy school clothes or whatever they want to do,” Leavitt says.

Hillcrest High School has held a summer academy for the past 3 years, this summer will be the fourth year. Orientation day for parents and students is on June 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Hillcrest cafeteria. After the orientation, classes will begin Monday-Friday on June 17-28 and July 9-23, 2019.

Classes will be held at Hillcrest High School from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Buses will pick up students every morning at Midvale and East Sandy Elementary school and the buses will return to those schools at approximately 12:45- 1:00 p.m.

Even though the summer academy is a lot of work and time, students still have a lot of fun. Arakelian says, “One of my favorite experiences with the summer academy is when the students were there on the last day and they got their final prize for going to the whole thing and they had all their work completed and they were so excited and they were excited for the school year to start and then they started looking at their schedules and they would come to me and say, ‘Oh I have you for English, yes!’ It was nice to build relationships with the students I was going to have in the fall.”

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