You wouldn’t know it by the snow outside, but it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll do this summer!

After many years teaching in the Upper School at Morgan Park Academy, I could not recommend more strongly that students entering Grades 9-12 consider enrolling in one or more courses in our Academic Summer Institute.

Overseen by our Dean of Academics, Monica Pickett, ASI include challenging, five-week classes taught at a pace that is faster then the regular school year. Students who can adapt to the faster pace of a summer program will easily adjust to the pacing of the regular school year. Summer classes or allow students to explore areas for which they might not otherwise have time.


Summer classes help to improve a student’s thinking skills, study skills, and time management skills, and rising ninth-graders frequently tell me ASI gave them a taste of what life in our Upper School will be like.

I would strongly encourage in particular any student new to our Upper School (and that includes students moving up from eighth grade at MPA) to enroll in the Academic Summer Institute. This would allow you to meet new students who will be your classmates in the fall. Also, you will be exposed early to the rigor and expectations of our Upper School classes and that will make your adjustment to Upper School in the fall much easier.

Year after year, students tell me that summer courses challenged them and better prepared them for the regular school year. This summer, courses offered include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Health and Wellness, Introduction to Film Studies, Consumer Economics, iPad and Computer Applications, Physical Education, Greek and Latin Cognates, Psychology, and Are You Ready for Algebra?

Please visit our Summer Programs website for more information about the Academic Summer Institute.

By Tom Drahozal

Mr. Drahozal is the Upper School principal. He also teaches history and coaches our varsity baseball and girls’ basketball teams.