The Cooke Summer Academy (CSA) is a six-week summer program for Cooke students designed to reinforce the academic and social skills acquired during the school year. Students participate in a small group, multi-sensory, thematic-based learning environment with integrated related services, which may include speech and language therapy, counseling, and occupational therapy. Students are grouped based on differentiated learning profiles and are assessed continuously throughout the six-week program.
The program is divided into two, three-week thematic sessions. Themes are designed to offer students literacy and problem solving instruction in a fun, engaging, and academically-appropriate environment. Students focus on the following core academic content areas and skills: decoding and word study, reading comprehension, writing workshop, thematic content study, and mathematical problem solving. Community inclusion opportunities complement academic themes by providing students with experiences in their local community settings. Travel Training, Community Service projects, and Off-Site Education activities are integrated into the weekly schedule in order to maximize students’ experiences in the community.
During the summer program, goals for related services are met through individual, small group, and/or classroom push-in sessions. To enhance and integrate these goals, related service providers establish an overall therapeutic theme consistent with the academic curriculum to enable students to work collaboratively with classmates on a project (e.g. creating a music compilation CD). Related service sessions use the project as the context for work on the individual student’s relevant goals and skills (e.g., using descriptive language to discuss music in speech therapy, identifying and conveying emotions through music selection in counseling and discussing music as a method for self-regulation in occupational therapy). Providers assess student needs throughout the program and provide services to meet those needs. Additionally, related service providers collaborate regularly with teachers and assistant teachers to help students move toward achieving their goals while working in the classroom.
Community inclusion opportunities complement academic thematic units by providing students with experiences in their local community settings. Travel Training, Community Service projects, and/or Off-Site Education activities are integrated into the weekly schedule in order to maximize students’ experiences in the community.
Social skills, health and fitness, and the development of personal interests are reinforced through extracurricular activities. These weekly activities may include yoga, drumming, cooking, arts and crafts, chess and other board games, technology, basketball, trips to the park, museums, monuments and other cultural or historic points of interest in the City. Trips complement and enhance the thematic academic work and provide students with hands-on experiences to connect their classroom learning with the New York City community.
CSA high school students receive vocational and travel training through classroom curriculum units and community service experiences. Students hone these skills in formal training sessions that incorporate opportunities to apply skills in the community. Students work as a group to plan travel routes, discuss job expectations, and rehearse appropriate vocational behavior. In addition, high school students go into the community and identify people working in various job clusters (e.g., animal care, clerical, retail), as well as hear from alumni working in these different clusters.