The surprising fact that there are more kids on campus during the summer -- over 1,600 -- than there are during the School year got us thinking: what exactly happens at St. Albans during the summer months? Quite a bit, it turns out!
Director of St. Albans Summer Programs Karim Najdi settles in with his current STA faculty and returning colleagues for a jam-packed three months. In fact, Najdi, who coaches Varsity tennis during the school year, manages a summer operation that includes activities ranging from computer programming and robotics to LEGO creations and fencing. He oversees all aspects of our summer programs and works to ensure that our remarkable facilities are utilized to their most full potential.
Out of all programs, the summer school is St. Albans’ oldest and, arguably, the most robust. Originally conceived as a way for World War II-bound students to gain credit for early graduation, the STA summer school enrolls over 200 students, offering a space for learners to pursue enrichment and sharpen essential skills. STA teacher and adviser Tom Carroll is the Director and serves as the program’s headmaster; he has built a wide-ranging curriculum that serves students in math, English, study skills courses, arts and music. K through 12 (rather, Form VI…) classes are taught in a traditional setting, with teachers expecting as much from their students during the summer as they would during the school year.
Over 40 public policy wonks (a compliment, I’m told) from across the country coalesce to form the esteemed St. Albans School of Public Service (SPS). SPS participants employ the case study method to dissect public policy issues, and enjoy excursions to the District’s monuments and political landmarks on educational trips supervised by coordinator (and Upper School History teacher/NCS field hockey coach) Suzanne Woods. The four-week residential program involves all things political and gives students the chance to hear from distinguished speakers and experience the DC point of view.
The Cathedral Scholars program brings together the best and brightest from this city’s public school system, guiding students towards participation in internships, social justice work, and college planning efforts. (They and the SPS students gather at tables in the Refectory for the family-style dining for which St. Albans is known – Aaron Brooks, our on-site Sodexo manager extraordinaire, is miraculously coordinating summer dining services during a complete kitchen renovation, with meals delivered from a nearby Sodexo partner, the Howard University Law School).
Summer athletes stay can wrapped up in daily practice at one of 40 of the sessions in St. Albans’ own sports camps – rowing (coached by STA’s Ted Haley), tennis (Karim), football (Athletic Director Gary Schnell), golf (LS Science’s Rob Wolfe) and/or swimming (Coach Green!). The School also continues a partnership with the Capital Fencing Academy to bring those classes to St. Albans. As in years past, St. Albans is also partnering with Headfirst Camps, which offers Science & Engineering, multisport programs, soccer, basketball, and travel camps for kids K – 7, as well as the sport on which it was founded: baseball. These camps were started by our own Brendan Sullivan ’93 and continue to be a huge success (and a great partnership) with over 800 campers!
The motion and activity of all that goes on at STA during the summer creates an atmosphere similar to that which occurs during our school year – and then some. The sheer number of red-shirted, walkie-talkie-wielding workers directing vehicles, students and campers at pick-up and drop-off is jaw-dropping. Add in the activity of a relocated Beauvoir pool, and coordinating activities at NCS, and you’ve got a bustling campus indeed! We hope you’ll get the chance to see all that is happening now around the Close – come visit us this summer!
Lanier Frank '79,P'09
Director of Alumni Relations