Summer Academics


We offer both Westtown students and others in the local community an opportunity to advance their learning in an intensive short-course environment. Whether chosen to open up the school year schedule for maximum flexibility, deepen and enrich learning in a particular field of interest, or accelerate advancement through the curriculum, summer academic courses are an opportunity to grow and learn. For more information, view the accordion bar below.

If you have any questions, please email summer@westtown.edu.

Westtown Entrepreneurship Innovation Challenge

Westtown Entrepreneurship Innovation Challenge

Accelerating Ideas into Action

Instructors:

Consulting Partner:


Partnering rising 10th through 12th grade Westtown students with students from underserved communities, cohorts will work in entrepreneurship training taught by University of Delaware Horn School alumni. Over the course of six weeks, students will work together on projects for the UD Diamond Challenge competition.

The Diamond Challenge is an innovative entrepreneurship competition offering $100,000 in prizes and resources to help students further develop and execute their ideas. This competition provides a unique opportunity for teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their concepts into action. While many entrepreneurship programs focus on principles of small business management, the Diamond Challenge focuses on unleashing creativity, encouraging a mindset of abundance and self-determination, and promoting purposeful entrepreneurism.

Students will continue to work together during fall 2020 in once-a-month meetings to complete their preparation for presenting and competing at the Diamond Challenge.

Credits: Undergraduate University of Delaware (UD) credit offered (for a fee) for any student successfully completing the accompanying “Ideas into Action” UDe partner course. This course will satisfy a requirement for Westtown School’s Social Entrepreneurship Deep Dive certificate program.

Prerequisite: Admission to the program is by application. Go here to apply!

Dates: June 29 – August 7, 2020

World Religions 1: Judaism and Christianity - 0.5 credit

World Religions 1: Judaism and Christianity - 0.5 credit

Christianity and Judaism are the two largest religions in the United States, and among all the religions of the world they have had the greatest influence on American culture and politics. This course will introduce students to the history, tests, beliefs, and practices of Judaism and Christianity with special emphasis placed on how these traditions have been expressed through culture and politics. Our approach to the study of religion is academic and non-devotional, meaning that we seek to gain an intellectual understanding of these traditions and the cultures in which they live, but we do not expect students to adopt any particular practices or beliefs. This course emphasizes how all religions are internally diverse and evolving over time. Our study of Judaism and Christianity will be inquiry-driven and project-based, which means that students will follow their curiosity about these religions, conduct independent research, and present the findings of their research through creative and innovative projects.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings in Zoom Monday - Friday: 9:30AM EST
  • Asynchronous work - The average student should expect to spend approximately four hours each day working independently, and in some cases collaboratively with other students.

Open to rising 10th graders and above

Teacher: Brian Blackmore

Date: June 29 - July 17


World Religions 2: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam - 0.5 credit

World Religions 2: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam - 0.5 credit

The number of American Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims amount together to about 1% of the total population of the United States. Most Americans know very little about these religious traditions and the important roles they have played in American public life. This course will introduce students to the history, texts, beliefs, and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam with special emphasis placed on how these traditions have been expressed through culture and politics. Our approach to the study of religion is academic and non-devotional, meaning that we week to gain an intellectual understanding of these traditions and the cultures in which they live, but we do not expect students to adopt any particular practices or beliefs. This course emphasizes how all religions are internally diverse and evolving over time. Out study of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam will be inquire-riven and project-based, which means that students will follow their curiosity about these religions, conduct independent research, and present the findings of their research through creative and innovative projects.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings in Zoom Monday - Friday 9:30AM EST
  • Asynchronous work: The average student should expect to spend approximately four hours each day working independently, and in some cases collaboratively with other students.

Prerequisite: World Religions 1 (rising 11th and 12th graders)

Teacher: Brian Blackmore

Date: July 20 - August 7


Geometry - 1.0 credit

Geometry - 1.0 credit

This course covers plane geometry and includes the study of congruence, similarity, ratio and proportion, area, the geometry of the circle, and right triangle trigonometry. Equal time is devoted to writing proofs and the use of computational aspects of basic results. This course includes a review of algebra topics in preparation of Algebra 2. Technology used will include Zoom, a scientific calculator, doc scan or similar app, and online access to Big Ideas Math Integrated I and II textbooks. Successful completion of this course prepares students to take Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 (Advanced)

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings in Zoom Monday - Thursday 8:30PM EST
  • Asynchronous work - The average student should expect to spend approximately 6 hours per day working independently and collaboratively to complete this course.

Prerequisite: Algebra 1

Teacher: Cheryl Oshman Blunt

Date: June 15 - July 24


Microeconomics - 0.5 credit (online)

Microeconomics - 0.5 credit (online)

Economics is the study of how a society uses limited resources to produce and distribute the goods needed to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Microeconomics focuses on the decisions made by individuals and firms, covering topics such as gains from trade, supply and demand, the welfare impact of taxes, and firm costs and profits. Grounded in the school's mission with special attention to issues of stewardship and sustainability, Westtown's Economics courses also investigate the nontraditional discipline of Ecological Economics, which probes the limits of the Earth's resources and calls into question the basic assumption of the feasibility of ongoing growth in consumption.

Important Information About Westtown's Online Economics Courses

Taking Economics online affords students the opportunity to learn at a distance without sacrificing the collaborative quality of education central to Westtown's classroom experience. Course materials and goals are similar to Westtown's school year syllabus but will adapt the combined with traditional textbook materials (based on Greg Mankiw's Essentials of Economics) to take advantage of online capabilities and provide the best possible learning experience. Students will watch short whiteboard-style lecture videos created exclusively for this course, navigate labs designed to guide students to understanding through constructing and applying economic concepts, and consult with student partners as needed to help each other master the material.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings in Zoom Monday - Thursday 9:15PM EST
  • Asynchronous work - The average student should expect to spend about six hours each day working independently and collaboratively to complete this course.

Teacher: Elson Blunt

Date: June 8 - June 26


Macroeconomics - 0.5 credit (online)

Macroeconomics - 0.5 credit (online)

Economics is the study of how a society uses limited resources to produce and distribute the goods needed to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Macroeconomics focuses on the dynamics of the economy as a whole, covering topics such as inflation, growth, finance, and US monetary policy. Students also complete a major research paper on a topic of their choice related to Economics. Grounded in the school's mission with special attention to issues of stewardship and sustainability, Westtown's Economics courses also investigate the nontraditional discipline of Ecological Economics, which probes the limits of the Earth's resources and calls into question the basic assumption of the feasibility of ongoing growth in consumption.

Important Information About Westtown's Online Economics Courses

Taking Economics online affords students the opportunity to learn at a distance without sacrificing the collaborative quality of education central to Westtown's classroom experience. Course materials and goals are similar to Westtown's school year syllabus but will be adapted and combined with traditional textbook materials (based on Greg Mnakiw's Essentials of Economics) to take advantage of online capabilities and provide the best possible learning experience. Students will watch short whiteboard-style lecture videos created exclusively for this course, navigate labs designed to guide students to understanding through constructing and applying economic concepts, and consult with student partners as needed to help each other master the material.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings in Zoom Monday - Thursdays 9:16PM EST
  • Asynchronous work - the average student should expect to spend about six hours each day working independently and collaboratively to complete this course.

Teacher: Elson Blunt

Date: June 29 - July 17


Statistics - 1.0 credit (online)

Statistics - 1.0 credit (online)

The discipline of Statistics distills and summarizes information from the world as a true story and communicates limits to our confidence in any statement we can infer from it. Westtown's Statistics course uses real world data to develop an understanding of data summary, probability distributions, sampling correlation and regression, and hypothesis testing, Our tools include experimentation, surveys, simulation, theoretical calculations, and analytical writing. Using the foundation, students will design a study on a topic of choice, interpret the date, and perform inference. Technology includes the TI-83/84 calculator and Google Sheets. This course covers most topics included in a college level non-calculus based introductory Statistics course and the Statistics Advanced Placement Exam. Students are well-positioned to take the AP exam the following May if desired; optional materials from the remaining topics are provided from motivated students to pursue.

Important Information About Westtown's Online Statistics Course

Taking Statistics online affords students the opportunity to learn at a distance without sacrificing the collaborative quality of education central to Westtown's classroom experience. Course materials and goals are similar to Westtown's school year syllabus but will be adapted and combined with traditional textbook materials (based on David Bock's Stats: Modeling the World) to take advantage of online capabilities and provide the best possible learning experience. Students will watch short whiteboard-style lecture videos created exclusively for this course, navigate labs designed to guide students to understanding through constructing and applying statistical concepts, and consult with students partners as needed to help each other master the material.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings in Zoom Monday - Thursday 8:30PM EST
  • Asynchronous work - students should expect to spend about six hours each day working independently and collaboratively to complete this course.

Prerequisite: Completions of Algebra II

Teacher: Elson Blunt

Date: June 8 - July 17

World History: 0.5 credit (online)

World History: 0.5 credit (online)

This online course examines world history from both a macro and micro lens. We begin with the Big Bang and continue to the present asking big questions about the nature of human history and the interconnectedness of living things. Much of the material for the course will come from the Big History Project curriculum, a program started by Bill Gates that uses chemistry, biology, economics, and sociology in addition to history to make sense of the world we live in. The culminating project in the course allows students to trace the complete history of an object, idea, invention, process, or technology of their choosing.

Who should take this class?

  • This class is open to all rising 11th and 12th graders

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings Tuesdays at 9:00AM EDT and Thursdays at 2:00PM EDT
  • Asynchronous work - Students should expect to spend approximately 4 hours a day or 20 hours a week on work for the course.

Teacher: Whitney Suttell

Date: July 13 - July 31


U.S. History - 1.0 credit (online)

U.S. History - 1.0 credit (online)

The U.S. History course begins with a focus on the Pre-Columbian Americans and works through the late 20th century. It is designed to provide an overview of some of the major events, trends, and themes across U.S. History. Aside from becoming familiar with the historical content and developing greater critical thought, students will develop and refine document analysis skills and work with primary sources to uncover the past and develop personal opinions on some of the major questions that have guided the history of the United States. As an online course, a disciplined and self-directed approach is required as students navigate course context through individual and group activities daily and in preparation for an online, weekly class meeting.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings Wednesdays from 7:00 - 9:30PM EDT or at another agreed upon time by teacher and students.
  • Asynchronous work - Students should expect to spend on average 3 - 4 hours daily on course work and have the freedom to get ahead in the coursework if desired.

Teacher: John Koenig

Date: June 8 - July 17


Digital Music and Studio Production - 0.5 credit (online)

Digital Music and Studio Production - 0.5 credit (online)

Digital Music and Studio Production exposes students to the basics of audio recording, editing, mixing, and composition through the use of music software. This course focuses on technological literacy and proficiency, digital recording, composition, and critical response. Students will become proficient online Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and will learn to create and manipulate MIDI files and settings. Students will create original musical compositions using the basic tools, media, and techniques in music technology. Basic theory and piano skills will be explored as part of this course, however no prior music reading or performing skills are required or expected.

Who should take this class?:

  • Students at ALL levels of musical ability;
  • Students with an interest in Digital Music technology;
  • Students that wish to create their own musical compositions.

Students will be required to have a set of wired over-the-ear headphones for this class (example). Bluetooth headphones (Airpods) will NOT be appropriate for this course.

Students are encouraged (but not required) to have a USB MIDI Controller for this class. (example)

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 - 10:30AM EDT with office hours Tuesdays at 9:30AM EDT.
  • Asynchronous work- Students are expected to do around 4 hours of work daily, including the 1 hour of class time.

Teacher: David Fontes

Date: July 6 - July 24

Music Theory - 0.5 credit (online)

Music Theory - 0.5 credit (online)

Are you looking to deepen your understanding of music? If so, this class is for you! Music Theory is the study of the science and architecture embedded in the music and unlocking these secrets will make you a better musician. In this course, we will work from micro to macro lenses of music constriction starting with a review of basic scale, key signature, interval and chord construction and working outwards to seventh chords, inversions, counterpoint, melodic and harmonic sequences, chord analysis, cadences, and musical form. This course is great preparation for college level music theory or just to deepen your understanding of music. Join me in our discovery of the architecture and science behind the artistry of music!

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous classes will occur on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 10am - 11am EDT, with drop in office hours that will be dependent on student time zone locations.
  • Asynchronous work- Students should expect to work for approximately 4 hours per day of the 3 week period.

Prerequisite: 1.0 credit of music

Teacher: Dr. Robert Frazier

Date July 27 - August 14


Art History: Call and Response - 0.5 credit (online)

Art History: Call and Response - 0.5 credit (online)

In this course, students will explore global contemporary art through a study of art theory and history balanced with a variety of art-making projects. We will critically evaluate and question the art historical canon by investigating themes and principles that have emerged in postmodern art. Our study will be primarily focused on artwork developed between 1970 and the present, and will explore issues that global culture is grappling with, including racism, cultural appropriation, and power within the dominant culture. Students will build a portfolio of writing about contemporary artists and a collection of art-works in direct response to their research. Although this course is focused on visual art and does entail some visual art-making, all arts students are welcomed as projects are not dependent on an in-depth knowledge of art-making skills and techniques.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous class will occur on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 10:30AM - 11:30AM EST, with drop in office hours to be determined based on the schedules of students in the class.
  • Asynchronous work - Students will be expected to work approximately 4 hours per day over the 3 week period.

Prerequisites: 1.0 arts credit

Teacher: Chris Wills

Date: July 27 - August 14


Art of Film - 0.5 credit (online)

Art of Film - 0.5 credit (online)

Students will engage with works of animation and film in order to gain fluency in the cultural impact and influence of the medium. This immersive course will foster media literacy through critical discourse with classic and contemporary film, while providing an opportunity for self-exploration and expression through open-format creative prompts. Students will respond to specific directors and stylistic genres, or investigate themes of their choosing in response to virtual screenings and group discussion. Drawing from the directorial and cinematographic techniques observed and discussed over the course of the syllabus, the final project will entail shooting and editing a short film informed by personal narratives.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings will occur on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30AM - 12:30PM EST with drop-in office hours to be determined based on the schedule of students in the class.
  • Asynchronous work- Students will be expected to work for approximately 4 hours per day over the 3 week period.

Prerequisites: 0.5 arts credit (not limited to visual art)

Teacher: Vivian Wenzler

Date: July 6- July 24


Nonviolence in Action: Myth and Possibilities - 0.5 credit (online)

Nonviolence in Action: Myth and Possibilities - 0.5 credit (online)

The Twentieth century saw an explosion of nonviolent movements and practice with significant success, as well as some setbacks. The twenty-first century has already seen widespread examples of nonviolent actions that are playing a significant role in shaping local and world affairs. This course will examine nonviolent action as a technique for creating change, defending against threats, and protecting others at risk. Using real world examples, we will look at active nonviolence from the interpersonal to the intergroup and international. We will examine common myths about nonviolence action, who uses it, how it works and why, looking at strategy and tactics and considering how our preconceptions about violence and nonviolence affect the stories that get told about it. We will also examine some of the occurring edge theorizing and experimentation happening in the field of nonviolence now. Students will become literate in some of the major nonviolent movements that have occurred in the last 100 years, research and follow existing campaigns, and consider how the pandemic is shaping the world of nonviolent action.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous classes will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00AM - 11:30AM EST (except the week of June 29) and office hours will be held based on student schedules.
  • Asynchronous work - Students will work an average of 2 - 4 hours per day independently.

Teacher: Jonathan Ogle

Date: June 12 - July 10


The Triple Bottom Line; Sustainability in the 21st Century - 0.5 credit (online)

The Triple Bottom Line; Sustainability in the 21st Century - 0.5 credit (online)

In this online course, students will explore the ethical and religious bases on the conservation movement and deflate the myth that environmental policy is antithetical to the economic growth by researching and discussing how new methods of conservation can ensure economic well being. Students will critically read "The Future of Life" by Edward O. Wilson, one of the world's most influential scientists. The culminating project of this course will be to design a sustainable initiative/business/housing development/city that takes into account the impacts on people, the economy, and the environment. This course can be taken as one of the required courses towards a Sustainability Deep Dive Certificate.

Who should take this Class:

  • Students looking to be a leader in the science and/or business
  • Students looking to free up room in their schedule for courses in other disciplines
  • Students looking to hone their analytical thinking and writing skills
  • Students interested in environmental science and social justice

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous classes will meet Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:00am EDT
  • Asynchronous work- Students will complete an average of 4 hours of work per day Monday - Friday. Materials will be accesses and submitted through Canvas

Teacher: Dana Jensen

Date: July 27 - August 14


Chinese 1 - 1.0 credit (online)

Chinese 1 - 1.0 credit (online)

This introductory course is designed for students who have little or no prior exposure to Chinese. The main objective of this course is to help students build understanding of the Chinese language and culture with themes and subjects that are relevant to their daily lives focusing on interpersonal, interpretative, and presentation skills. The pedagogical instruction employs a step-by-step approach that reinforces oral communication and a solid foundation of character recognition and writing. After completing this course, students should achieve proficiency level of novice mid to novice high as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. They will be able to 1) participate in a simple conversation on familiar topics; 2) respond to a simple question; 3) understand phrases and statements on very familiar topics; 4) provide information about oneself; and 5) recognize 200 characters and reproduce approximately 150 Characters.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous meetings will occur in Zoom on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:00AM EST for 45 to 60 minutes depending on the needs of the class, with drop-in office hours on Tuesday from 10:00AM - 11:00AM EST.
  • Asynchronous work - Students will complete approximately 4 hours of synchronous/asynchronous work every day, Monday - Friday. This course will run entirely through Canvas.

Teacher: Bei Zhang

Date: July 6 - August 14


Bridge to Algebra 2 - 0.0 credit enrichment (online)

* This Course is open to current and incoming Westtown Students ONLY *

Bridge to Algebra 2 - 0.0 credit enrichment (online)

Students will review Algebra 1 topics including solving linear equations and inequations, solving absolute value equations and inequations, direct variation word problems, graphing linear functions, graphing absolute value equations, graphing piecewise functions, solving systems of linear equations and possibly an introduction to quadratics and factoring. This course is designed for students who struggled with the end of Algebra 1, or who, at the end of Geometry, found they did not remember many of the topics from earlier Algebra courses, in order to be more fully prepared for Algebra 2. This is not a credit bearing course.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous Meeting: TBD
  • Asynchronous work: TBD

Teacher: Megan William

Date: July 27 - August 14


College Essay Writing - 0.0 credit enrichment (online)

* This Course is open to current and incoming Westtown Students ONLY *

College Essay Writing - 0.0 credit enrichment (online)

This online course provides instruction and practice in writing personal essays for submission with college applications. Over the course of the two week session, students will explore the purpose of the college essay and strategies for writing them effectively. The class will review personal essay models, admission office feedback, suggestions and strategies, and sample "successful" college essays for reference, and practice writing to answer a variety of sample prompts. The goal of the two week session is to have each student take at least one essay, from the prompt(s) of their choice, through several drafts, revising, and editing to a final ready for submission.

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous classes will meet twice a week 10:30am EST
  • Asynchronous work will be complete through CANVAS and Google Docs

Teacher: Stephanie Tucker

Date: August 3 - 14


The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scientific Exploration - 0.0 credit enrichment (online)

*This course is open to Westtown current and incoming Upper School Students and adults in the Westtown community (parents, alumni, and employees) ONLY*


The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scientific Exploration - 0.0 credit enrichment (online)

This course will examine the science behind the COVID-19 pandemic. We will learn some foundational information in the fields of virology, immunology, and epidemiology, and will explore the process of developing and testing vaccines and drugs. We will spend much of our time reading primary literature related to COVID-19: topics may include the structure and properties of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), etiology of the disease, and research related to treatments and vaccines. Participants in this course will gain familiarity and comfort with scientific literature, and will practice communicating accurate, science-based information to a variety of audiences. The course will run from June 15 - August 14, with a break from July 13 -24.

Who should take this course?

  • This course is open to Upper School students, and to adults in the Westtown community (parents, alumni, and employees)

Course Structure and Format

  • Synchronous classes will meet TBD (Additional optional meetings for discussions may be scheduled if there is sufficient interest.)
  • Asynchronous work - Participants should plan for approximately 3 hours of work per week.

Teacher: Mariska Batavia

Dates: June 15 - July 10 & July 27 - August 14


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