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Oakes's Corner

Summer, For Those Who Need It

By Oakes Hunnewell, Ed.M., CEP

Summer is around the corner and students are gearing up for the end of the year. Most are excited because they anticipate a time filled with adventure, relaxation, and freedom. Some are simply happy to leave a challenging year behind. During the summer, some students will choose to work, while others will travel, perform community services, or further develop a skill. There are also those students who will use this time to catch up.

For those who did struggle in school, who found the content difficult and felt that they had hit a wall while their peers seemed to move ahead with greater ease, summer is the ideal time to explore obtaining an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which identifies learning issues and puts in place special accommodations to help students succeed. IEPs cover the range of a student’s educational experience, and can include numerous accommodations to classroom-based activities. Though IEPs are meant to travel with students wherever they end up, often future academic institutions will also ask to see or require a neuropsychological evaluation or neuropsych. The neuropsych covers a more extensive battery of tests and it is more thorough in its reporting. It is also very effective in providing special accommodations on standardized tests such as SATs and ACTs.

There are many summer programs that address the needs of struggling students as well as students who seek enrichment or just want to get ahead. For example, many community colleges offer “bridge or dual enrollment programs” for high school students, which allow them to take courses for high school credit. Cost is generally reasonable and virtually all high school courses are available.

In addition, many boarding and independent day schools offer summer school. For instance, Salisbury School (, offer courses in math, reading and writing designed to boost confidence and overcome learning differences.

Options for college students include taking courses at a community college or enrolling at a four year institution offering a summer session to visiting students. Many colleges offer a traditional list of course offerings. Some also offer study skills classes so that students can understand how they learn best. Below are a few listings.

George Washington University:
Hiram College:
Landmark College:

All of the links above are but a few examples of programs that may be relevant to the reader. There exist many more. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

School of the Month

Wolfeboro: The Summer Boarding School-


Located in Wolfeboro, NH, on Lake Winnipesaukee, the school serves boys and girls ages 12 to 18 year old who need academic support. Many, but not all of the students, are diagnosed with executive function or language-based learning disabilities. During the course of the program, students work on academic habits and skills, motivation and developing confidence. A typical day is divided into morning classes and afternoon activities and sports. In the evenings, students participate in intramural league play followed by study hall. Academic and study skills support is offered mornings and at night during study hall. The summer school offers courses in all areas, including English as a Second Language. Each student's program is designed to support individual primary goals as designated by parents, consultants, or schools. Students choose a three-course combination, any of which will promote improved study habits, study skills, organization, and confidence. Courses are also offered for credit upon request. Students live in tents bordering the lake and use a central dining hall where everyone congregates for food and play. The feel is that of a traditional New England summer camp, the difference being that students go there for academic as well as non-academic learning.

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For more information, please visit or contact the school directly at 603-569-3451. Ask for Edward Cooper, Head of School. Tell him Oakes sent you.