The Summer Session 2020 application is open and online. Be assured enrolling is risk-free, as described in this letter from the Director (March 16, 2020). 
Be sure to apply early and reserve your seat for the Best Summer Ever!
Morning Programs

The Excel Program

College Prep and Academy courses for credit, preview, or enrichment

For students entering 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade
Cushing’s Excel Program offers a wide array of College Prep and Academy courses for credit, preview, or enrichment. Through a dynamic and supportive learning process, you will be challenged, engaged, and inspired—and will emerge better prepared for the rigors of a college-level curriculum.
Students enrolled the Excel Program are fully immersed in a single subject for their morning classes. In the application process, you will choose one course from the list below.
A note regarding classes for credit
  • All international students enrolled in a class for credit will need to enter the country on an F1 student visa. We will send you an I-20 form to obtain the F1 visa. Use the form to obtain your F-I Student Visa from the U.S. Consulate. We recommend that you make an appointment with the Consulate as soon as possible after receiving your I-20 form.
  • Upon successful completion of the course you enroll in, Cushing will award you a full year’s academic credit. Credit classes meet five hours each day for the entire five-week program. Of course, you must be in attendance for the entire session in order to receive credit.
  • Due to extended class time during the day, students taking a class for credit are only required to participate in one afternoon course or activity.
  • If you are seeking to transfer credit to another school, you should make prior arrangements with that school and notify the Summer Session Office of those arrangements.
  • Many students who may not need credit at this point in their academic journey still take credit classes for review, preview (to prepare for honors or AP level classes), or personal interest and enrichment.

Excel - Classes for Credit

List of 8 items.

  • Geometry

    In this intensive geometry course, you will:
    • solidify your understanding of the properties of two and three-dimensional figures,
    • work with visual perceptions of three-dimensional
    • develop skills for effective use of deductive reasoning as a primary problem-solving tool.

    Some of the topics you will cover include: parallel lines and planes; properties of triangles, quadrilaterals and circles; congruent and similar triangles, area of polygons; trigonometry and coordinate geometry. Successful completion of Algebra I is a prerequisite for enrolling in this course.

  • Algebra II

    If you are in transition to higher level math, enrolling in Algebra II is an excellent choice for the summer. Topics investigated in this course include linear relations, quadratic functions, exponents, and logarithms and their applications. Successful completion of both Algebra I and Geometry is a prerequisite.
  • Precalculus

    Have you ever wondered how your previous mathematics courses fit together? In College Prep Precalculus not only will you review important concepts from algebra, geometry, and basic trigonometry, but you will also explore how they interconnect and pave the way for delving into higher-level mathematics. Topics covered in this course include functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic) and their graphs, trigonometric functions, conic sections and systems of equations. Successful completion of Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II is a prerequisite.
  • Biology

    During the first two weeks of Biology, you become familiar with the chemical structures within cells. The second two weeks emphasize the basic principles, terminology and methodology of genetics. In the final week, you study complex organisms and systems. How these systems work to maintain homeostasis (dynamic balance) and to respond to stresses placed upon them becomes the major emphasis by the end of the course.

    Throughout, you learn to use various methods of scientific investigation while collecting data, making careful observations and interpreting results. You spend significant time in the laboratory, where you become familiar with research instruments including microscopes, spectrophotometers, pH meters, conductivity meters, analytical balances, water baths and Van Doren bottles.
  • Chemistry

    Chemistry deals with the myriad of substances that make up our environment, their relationships to each other and their transformations. You begin the study of chemistry by learning about the units of science, the manipulation of numbers in science, types of matter and atomic theory. You then master the symbols, formulas and equations that make up the language of chemistry and explore the ways in which they are used.

    Kinetic theory, with particular application to the states of matter, lays the foundation for further investigation of thermodynamics, solutions, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases. At the end of the course, special topics are introduced. The laboratory plays an important role in this course because experiments are designed to enable you to use standard chemical equipment and procedures. Successful completion of Algebra II and Biology is a prerequisite.
  • Physics

    In this course you develop a thorough understanding of mechanics and the major conservation laws of energy and momentum. You come to understand and appreciate these ideas as you apply them to the workings of the universe. Toward that end, you study the principles of electricity, optics and Newtonian mechanics.

    Through experiments and labs, you learn to organize, manipulate and summarize experimental data into charts, graphs and tables, propose and justify a sequence of steps leading to a solution, and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a solution to a physics problem. Successful completion of Algebra II, Chemistry and Trigonometry is a prerequisite for enrolling in Physics.
  • History - United States History

    Over 500 years in the making, the United States of America was created by a wide diversity of people from around the world, perhaps including your distant or recent ancestors. In this class you examine the emergence of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society in British North America, beginning with the pattern of colonial settlement and the development of American culture. You will investigate the causes of the American Revolution, the process of writing and ratifying the Constitution and the development of a two-party system of government.

    The major political, economic, social and cultural forces that shaped America from the early 19th to the early 20th century are explored in depth. You conclude this intensive historical survey course by touching upon the emergence of the United States as a world power from 1898 through two World Wars, the Vietnam conflict, and the end of the Cold War. Materials include a textbook augmented by secondary works, films, guest speakers, original source materials, and class trips to historic sites in New England.
  • English - Responding to Literature Through Critical & Creative Writing

    “Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well.”
     — Duke of Buckingham Sheffield (1649–1720), “Essay on Poetry”

    Perhaps no other skill is as important to your academic and professional success as writing. In this course you, your classmates, and teacher pay close attention to the writing process as well as to the different kinds of writing that allow you to stretch your mind and talents.

    The course draws upon a variety of acclaimed short stories, poems, essays, and novels to illustrate various genres of writing for different purposes. After reading and discussing these works, you engage in expressive writing that comes from personal experience, including description and narration. You then turn to an extensive study and practice of the different kinds of expository writing, including definition, classification, illustration, comparison and contrast, argumentation and critical analysis. Frequent in- and out-of class essays build your ease and effectiveness as a writer.

    Having gained a solid foundation in the various modes of discourse and in the writing process itself, you explore the world of writing by composing original work in any of the creative forms that appeal to you, including fiction, poetry and drama. By the end of the course, you have built a portfolio of your writing that is bound and, if you choose, shared with the rest of your class. If you wish, you may share your work with the entire community at an all-school assembly in the final weeks of Summer Session.

Excel - Classes for Enrichment

List of 4 items.

  • College Advising Workshop

    The College Advising Workshop is designed to assist students with navigating the college search and college application process. The course emphasizes a reflective process with a focus on increasing self-knowledge, becoming familiar with college campuses, and understanding the college admissions process. Students gain self-awareness through activities like the Harrington O’Shea Career Decision Maker assessment, as well as with various worksheets and exercises designed to assess interests and skills. Students develop an understanding of the admissions process by reading and discussing The Gatekeepers, which provides a “behind-the-scenes” look at the admissions process at highly selective universities. Capitalizing on the close proximity to Boston, Amherst, and Worcester, students will visit over a dozen college campuses throughout the course and will participate in tours and information sessions. Students will also participate in mock college admissions interviews where they are encouraged to discuss their strengths, challenges, and goals with actual college admissions officers. Additionally, students are introduced to the Common Application and the various components, including the essay portion. Students work to complete multiple drafts of their personal narrative/college essay, beginning with the brainstorming process and including peer edits and feedback from the instructor.
  • Business, Finance, and Economics

    In this comprehensive course designed for the young entrepreneur, students will examine real-world business models, recognize and research opportunities, and engage in the step-by-step process of building, marketing, and sustaining a successful enterprise based on an original idea. Along the way, students become familiar with the world of finance, including the banking system, the monetary system, the loanable funds market, and the various financial assets. In addition, an in-depth study of the basic principles of business economics accompanies this course, including the concepts of supply and demand, optimal output, profit maximization, and economies of scale. The class culminates with student presentations of business proposals to peers and faculty. This class is ideal for students considering a career in business, marketing, finance, or economics. 
  • Scientific Research

    Our College-level Scientific Research program provides high school scholars with a hands-on research experience across several disciplines. Students will conduct research in the physical sciences, natural sciences, earth/space sciences, and social sciences. In this process they will acquire critical analytical skills through the scientific process (inquiry, research, hypothesis, testing, analysis). This non-credit course culminates in a formal research paper and presentation.
  • S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, math)

    Combining Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, S.T.E.A.M. students gain a new perspective of the interconnectedness of the world around them. Using the engineering design process, students will explore the physics of flight and flotation, understand the dynamics between and within different ecosystems, and learn how humans use technology to interact with the natural world. In addition, students will engage the scientific method, practice drawing and creating, and develop important teamwork and collaborative habits. In this process, students will gain meta-cognitive skills through iteration, self-reflection, and peer evaluation. This interdisciplinary course employs a project-based format that includes problem inquiry, research, proposal, testing, and conclusion, and strikes a balance between independent discovery and carefully guided instructor support. By the end of the summer, S.T.E.A.M. students will see the world as both an engineer and a scientist, with new skills, knowledge, and habits to meet the challenges of more advanced work in the field.
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Cushing Academy Summer Session

39 School Street
Ashburnham, MA 01430-8000

Tel: 978.827.7700
Fax: 978.827.7087

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.