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ʻIolani School to offer free summer preparatory courses to newly enrolled students

A robotics class at ʻIolani School on Sept. 22, 2021.
Courtesy ʻIolani School
A robotics class at ʻIolani School on Sept. 22, 2021.

ʻIolani School is only two months into the academic year but already it is looking ahead.

The school announced it has decided to continue offering free summer school for students — something that grew out of the shutdown triggered by the pandemic.

Tim Cottrell, the head of ʻIolani School, said they hope the strategy will pay off next fall.

"Last year for all of our students who were newly enrolled students, we offered them free preparatory courses during the summer to get them ready to go to ʻIolani and this was of course in response to the fact that kids had such a heterogeneous experience with their education last year. We wanted to make sure everybody was on their best foot when they were coming to school," Cottrell said.

"But we found out that it's really great and our faculty appreciate it very much and it's very helpful to the students. It helps us get to know them before they step on campus. And so moving forward, we're going to offer those same summer preparatory courses for free to every newly enrolled student at the school," he told Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

The school also discovered four-day school weeks energized students and kept people fresh, Cottrell said, so they added additional four-day weeks to the school calendar.

Though the school is not otherwise doing remote learning, ʻIolani decided it was worthwhile to continue streaming its classes for when students can't be there in person.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Oct. 11, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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