Academic Preparation

College Success Academy’s challenging and rewarding curriculum prepares Scholars over the course of four years.


Summer Sessions

The Berylson Family Academy @ Steppingstone

Year One: Fifth-grade Scholars learn the rigors and standards of Steppingstone work, practice good study and organizational skills, and forge strong relationships with peers.

Year Two: Scholars can act as role models for those starting their Steppingstone journey. They dive into more difficult work, such as close reading in ELA, ratios and proportions in math, and basic chemistry.

Year Three: Scholars prepare to be more independent with their schoolwork, as they begin the approach to high school. In a Humanities course, Scholars explore human rights by reading about and discussing real-world issues from history and present day. In math, they work on pre-algebra skills, and in science, they learn about DNA.

Academic Year Sessions

ELA: Scholars read novels of their choice and write about them in their own blogs. This curriculum encourages Scholars to seek out books they love and focuses on building writing and technology skills.

Math: Scholars prepare for eighth-grade algebra and use math in real-world contexts, such as through designing their dream bedroom.

Science: To apply their engineering and design skills, Scholars create water filters, build boats, and cook s’mores in solar ovens.

Advisory: An extension of the summer’s Challenges and Choices curriculum, Scholars practice social skills, learn about conflict resolution, identify community members to whom they can go for support, and expand their college knowledge.

Visual Thinking Strategies: To hone critical thinking and discussion skills, Scholars analyze and discuss works of art. This curriculum includes a field trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Study Hall: Scholars work on school homework and receive assistance and targeted tutoring from staff and college students. If Scholars finish their homework, they can play educational games chosen by Steppingstone staff.

High School Selection

In 7th and 8th grade, Scholars receive comprehensive guidance in selecting the Boston public high schools that are right for them. At the end of 8th grade, they transition into Steppingstone’s Support Services department. The community celebrates this important milestone with a Commencement ceremony.

Support Services

After completing their academic preparation with Steppingstone, Scholars are paired with an Advisor in Support Services, where they continue to receive guidance and support throughout high school. Once in college, they work closely with Steppingstone’s College Services department.