Freshman Summer Success Academy at Norwalk High School

Each summer, Carver conducts the Freshman Summer Success Academy at Brien McMahon and Norwalk High Schools. Rising 9th graders participate in our 5-week summer program.  

Research suggests that the most difficult transition point in education is from middle to high school. Navigating a larger environment, excelling in rigorous courses, meeting graduation requirements, and juggling competing priorities can be quite challenging. The Freshman Success Summer Academy serves as a necessary bridge into high school. 

Students enrolling in the program participate in academic courses, participate in the school’s advisory program, and take field trips to enhance team building and the academic program. Breakfast and lunch are provided for free each day. 

Advisory is an integral part of the student’s high school program because it helps students make new friends and form a connection to their new high school. Its mission is to prepare students for life’s transitions, including career development and post-secondary opportunities, through meaningful connections. Students participate in a weekly advisory meeting throughout the summer program.


Through reading of the text “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” by Sean Covey, students discuss and reflect in journal format the ideas and concepts presented. Students practice in active reading strategies that will help them navigate and successfully manage the amount of required reading on the high school level.


Students participate in hands-on activities to prepare for high school science courses. They practice lab specific math skills, science inquiry, graphing data, collaborative and independent work habits in lab settings, while completing engaging scientific investigations


Students learn the basics of navigating high school, including reading a transcript, understanding graduation requirements, earning credits in courses, and looking ahead to potential career options. Students also use Naviance/Family Connection to develop an individualized Student Success Plan to identify needs and interests and set future goals.


Students use this course to plan for their Student-Led-Conference (SLC) The format of SLC puts the student at center of the conversation in assessing their success. Students present work samples and identify areas of strengths and those in need of improvement. Parents are invited to participate. Formal invitations will be sent home.


This course helps students bridge the gap between Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1. Math concepts that are highlighted include computations, problem solving, solving equations, and graphing. Students practice the mathematical skills necessary for success in high school.

S.W.A.G. Skills (Study Everyday, Work Hard, Achieve your Goals, Graduate with Honors)

Featuring the essential learning strategies for becoming a better student, this course helps students learn how to prepare for class, use organizational and time management strategies, and identify effective study skills. 


This course focuses on getting students ready for 9th grade world history. Using academic sources, discussion, and group work, students investigate historical events. Students practice research and presentation skills in preparation for 9th grade research projects.

Several years of successfully running the Freshman Success Summer Academy show marked improvement for our Carver students once they enter into high school!