Educational Institutions

Summer on The Hill

  • Bronx, NY
  • www.summeronthehill.org

Mission Statement

SOH's mission is to enrich the education of promising, low-income public school students from the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem, to prepare them for selective schools and colleges, and to offer guidance to their parents.

Summer on the Hill was founded in 1994 to address the intellectual needs of academically-talented, low-income public school students whose families lacked the resources to develop their children's potential.  Since then, SOH has developed into a Grade 3-12 program that has served 1,600 students and their parents.

SOH works with children from the end of 2nd grade through high school -- for as long as ten years -- in a stable, nurturing community that has high expectations. Our Grade 3-8 accelerated classes in language arts, math, and science give students opportunities to read complete works of literature, learn how to improve their writing, develop a solid foundation for algebra, learn concepts in science, participate in hands-on science experiments, and learn to write lab reports.

Students who continue in SOH's High School Program may attend Saturday morning SAT/ACT classes in English and math, participate in college trips, and receive individual college counseling.

SOH has introduced students and families to numerous excellent schools. We have placed students at independent schools with strong financial aid packages and the resources to encourage and prepare students for college. Our placement list includes De La Salle Academy, Fieldston, Fordham Prep, George Jackson Academy, Horace Mann, Riverdale, St. Bernard's, and many other top-tier independent schools.

SOH prepares its rising 8th graders for high school entrance exams during our summer program. In the past ten years, 58 of our 8th graders have gained admission to NYC specialized science or audition high schools, including 21 students accepted to Bronx High School of Science.

SOH has placed 270 students in over 125 colleges and universities, including six Ivy League institutions, MIT, and many private and public liberal arts colleges. Two-thirds of our college students are the first in their families to attend college.

SOH engages children in learning, as evidenced by our 90% attendance rate in the academic-year Saturday program -- a sixth day of school for our students.

Main Programs

  1. Summer on the Hill (year-round academic enrichment)
  2. High School Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

New York

Summer on the Hill serves public school students who attend school in the borough of the Bronx, as well as in the neighborhoods of Upper Manhattan (Washington Heights and Inwood) and Harlem. Schools in these geographic areas enroll large numbers of low-income and minority students, while also having fewer gifted and talented programs available for students who are academically accelerated in comparison with wealthier neighborhoods of New York City.

Demographics for our current students are as follows: 32% are Hispanic/Latino 24% are African American, 21% are Asian American, 8% are Caucasian and 15% are Multi-racial or Other.

ruling year

2005

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Dr. John McIvor

Deputy Director/Director of Placement and High School Programs

Self-reported

Mr. Markell Parker

Keywords

Self-reported

academically talented, disadvantaged, gifted, underserved, NYC public school students,

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Also Known As

SOH

EIN

65-1232087

 Number

0679460873

Physical Address

4662 Tibbett Avenue

Bronx, 10471

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Summer on the Hill participants perform well academically in their schools, gain admission to excellent college preparatory middle and high schools, attend highly rated colleges, and go on to successful careers in fields that include science, health care, business, technology, social services, and the arts. Students credit Summer on the Hill with setting them on a path to future success - a path they would not have had access to without the challenging academic environment and personal support they receive through the program.


Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Summer on the Hill (year-round academic enrichment)

SOH is committed to developing students' academic potential at an early age through two program components: a Grade 3-8 program and a High School Program.
SOH's Grade 3-8 Program provides stimulating after-school classes in language arts, math, and science (including science labs and lab report-writing), opportunities in the arts and sports, and individualized guidance on school choices in a nurturing atmosphere that emphasizes personal responsibility as well as intellectual engagement. Students attend their public schools while participating in the program, which offers small classes taught by excellent teachers from local independent, parochial, and public schools. All students receive free lunch to facilitate their full participation in the program.

1. The Grade 3-8 program is comprised of: a) a six-week summer program of academics, arts, and sports, that includes an overnight at a nature lab and a student musical theatre production;
b) a mandatory school-year Saturday program for all Grades 3-8 students. Classes in language arts, math, and science, performing arts and sports, and
c) Individualized placement guidance on school choices offered to all SOH 8th graders and to younger students judged ready to make the transition to an independent school,
e) evening workshops for parents.

2) SOH's High School Program is open only to alumni of the Grade 3-8 program and includes SAT and academic review classes, college counseling, and college visits.
a) 40-50 high school students participate in after-school academic and SAT review classes; individual and group college admissions meetings; college visits; and cultural and career events.
b) Each summer, SOH selects 25 high school students to work as paid mentor interns in the summer program. These students are trained in positive ways of working with younger children and are closely supervised by adult staff. Summer mentors receive a modest stipend and community service for their work.

Each year, SOH conducts an extensive recruitment and admissions effort. In 2013, 75 public schools in our target area nominated a total of 248 2nd graders to SOH, and 43 students were accepted. Admission to SOH is competitive because of space and funding limitations.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 2

High School Program

After students graduate from Summer on the Hill at the end of the 8th grade, the program continues to provide support through the high school years via: free standardized test preparation for 9th, 10th and 11th graders; supervised visits to college campuses in the Northeast, including Harvard, Columbia, NYU, and Wesleyan; a Mentor Fellowship program that links students with professionals in diverse fields; and individual guidance throughout the college application process.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Summer on the Hill's mission is help talented young people from low-income backgrounds reach their full potentials, personally, academically, and professionally. Our goal is to work with approximately 250 students from the Bronx, Harlem and Upper Manhattan each year in grades 3 - 12, providing the resources and encouragement that can enable them to gain admission to and thrive in some of the country's best high schools, colleges, and universities.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    SOH's strategy is to engage students in education by holding year-round enrichment classes that are both substantive and creative, in addition to targeted test prep classes and timely guidance on school and college choices. SOH simulates the independent school experience for its students by emphasizing individual attention, high expectations, and increased opportunities for learning. The program holds small classes of 15-18 students each, taught by teachers who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects.

    During SOH's Grade 3-8 intensive summer program, teachers facilitate activities that help students review the previous year's work and prepare for the school year ahead, with accelerated classes in language arts, math, and science. During the summer, staff and faculty help new students become acclimated to SOH; all students benefit from doing academic work in the summer to keep their minds sharp.

    During the academic year Saturday program, SOH holds accelerated enrichment in core subjects and reinforces key SOH values: the joy of learning and making discoveries, and responsibility to oneself and others. Faculty use hands-on activities whenever possible to engage students in learning. SOH's atmosphere encourages students to make friendships that are very important to them, as they may not have peers with similar interests in their public schools. The program's staff and faculty provide continuity -- an essential ingredient for students' well-being.

    Grade 3-8 Program: Physical Education. SOH holds a period of physical education at each 18 Saturday sessions and daily in the summer, during which students learn to swim and to play tennis. In many cases, our physical education classes may be the only sports that public school students have that week.

    Grade 3-8 Program: Performing and Visual Arts. In addition to an intensive academic schedule in the summer, SOH holds two weekly periods of visual arts, and eight weekly periods of performing arts, which culminate in productions for students and their families.

    High School Program. SOH's strategy is to continue the nurturing community for alumni of the Grade 3-8 Program, through free SAT/ACT classes, a mentoring program, and college counseling and trips. The college trips help students develop a framework for their college search; whenever possible, SOH tries to arrange for high school students to meet with SOH college students for an inside look at college life and requirements.

  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    SOH's professional staff has had great success in identifying and recruiting students to the program, hiring excellent classroom teachers, and implementing an organized and successful array of academic enrichment activities.

    The program also benefits from use of the extensive resources of the Horace Mann School, a highly ranked independent school located in the Bronx with state-of-the-art instructional facilities.

    SOH has an excellent track record of securing grants and gifts from foundations, corporations, and individuals, including such funders as The Altman Foundation, The Charles Hayden Foundation, the Heisman Trophy Trust, and the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund.

  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    SOH's outcomes include excellent attendance, retention, and performance on the Stanford 10 exam (taken by continuing 4th -8th graders in July), placement at such schools as Bronx Science and Horace Mann, and college acceptances.

    ATTENDANCE
    SOH's average attendance in its Grade 3-8 Saturday Program is consistently over 90%. Students want to participate in SOH even though it is a sixth day of school. Our annual attrition rate is low (between 4%-7%).

    STANFORD 10 and OLSAT STANDARDIZED TESTS
    Summer on the Hill administered the Stanford 10 test to students who were rising 4th graders, rising 5th graders, rising 6th graders, rising 7th graders, and rising 8th on July 15, 2015 (a total of 165 students). In addition, we administered the Otis Lennon School Abilities Test (OLSAT) to 38 rising 5th graders. (Combined with the Stanford results, the OLSAT provides a better indicator of how students would score on the Independent Schools Entrance Exam than the Stanford by itself.)

    On the Stanford 10:

    • 133 students (81%) performed in the top stanines for Reading
    • 140 students (85%) performed in the top stanines for Math
    • 25 students (15%) scored in the highest stanine (9) for both Reading and Math, placing them in the top percentil

    The OLSAT test, published by Pearson Education, is a test of abstract thinking and reasoning ability. It is a helpful predictor of how well students might perform on the ISEE (Independent Schools Entrance Exam), and is one source of information that can aid Summer on the Hill's guidance and placement staff in determining which students are the strongest candidates for academic work in an independent school setting. In July, 2015:

    • 38 rising 5th graders took the OLSAT Test
    • Of these 38, 17 students (45%) scored in the top quartile, and 97% (35 students) scored at or above average on the assessment.

    SCHOOL PLACEMENT
    100% of SOH 8th graders in June 2015 gained admission to a college preparatory high school, including such schools as the NYC specialized schools (Bronx Science, LaGuardia HS), independent schools such as Horace Mann, Fieldstone and Riverdale, and Catholic schools such as Preston, Cardinal Hayes, Sacred Heart, and Cristo Rey.

    SOH students also have gained admission to excellent colleges and universities, including:
    Bowdoin • Barnard • Boston College• • Columbia • Cornell • CUNY Macauley Honors College • Dartmouth • Earlham • Georgetown • Grinnell • Hamilton • Harvard • Kenyon • Middlebury • MIT • Sarah Lawrence • Smith • SUNY Binghamton • Trinity • University of Pennsylvania • Wesleyan • Yale, and many others.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In 20 years, Summer on the Hill has developed from an initial five-week experiment in summer learning for 21 children to a year-round program that serves 250 students in Grades 3-12.

    We have expanded, thanks to the generosity of our private and corporate foundation, individuals, and our Trustees, and to the Horace Mann School, which gives SOH a gift-in-kind of facilities and some supportive services.

    Each year, SOH examines program outcomes and curricula in order to ensure that we are serving our students well and fulfilling our mission. In 2012, we obtained a major grant from the William T. Grant Foundation to revise the writing curriculum in our Grades 3-8 language arts program, with excellent results. Teachers reported that they had better strategies for individual lessons on writing, and students demonstrated greater confidence and skill in their written work. In 2015, SOH revised its language arts and math curricula to supplement the Common Core curriculum and better prepare students for success in an independent school environment.

    We continue to seek ways to provide the best education for our students.
Service Areas

Self-reported

New York

Summer on the Hill serves public school students who attend school in the borough of the Bronx, as well as in the neighborhoods of Upper Manhattan (Washington Heights and Inwood) and Harlem. Schools in these geographic areas enroll large numbers of low-income and minority students, while also having fewer gifted and talented programs available for students who are academically accelerated in comparison with wealthier neighborhoods of New York City.

Demographics for our current students are as follows: 32% are Hispanic/Latino 24% are African American, 21% are Asian American, 8% are Caucasian and 15% are Multi-racial or Other.

Social Media

Funding Needs

SOH raises funds to operate its Grade 3-12 enrichment and guidance programs from private foundations, corporations, and individuals. You can help: The year-long Grade 3-8 program (six-week summer session and a 16-Saturday academic-year program) includes accelerated classes in language arts, math, and science , and instruction in performing and visual arts and sports.   One high school student can take PSAT or SAT prep classes, receive  college counseling, and attend college admissions workshops. SOH offers individual guidance to all 8th graders on high school choices.      College trips include information sessions, campus tours, and meetings with students and faculty.

photos




External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Summer on the Hill Inc co John P McIvor
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Summer on The Hill

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Dr. John McIvor

Deputy Director/Director of Placement and High School Programs

Mr. Markell Parker

BIO

Dr. John McIvor held pastoral, administrative, and teaching positions before joining the Horace Mann School in 1993 as Assistant Director of Admissions and Mentor to students of color. He was one of the founders of Summer on the Hill, and has led the program since its establishment, making significant educational opportunities available to public school students. Dr. McIvor, who holds a S.T.D. from St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome, Italy, envisions Summer on the Hill as a way to meet the educational interests and needs of gifted inner-city schoolchildren and their families.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Now in our 22nd year, SOH has served over 1,500 promising, low-income students from the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem in a dynamic educational community.

Students tell us that SOH has had an incredible influence on their lives. Yet how can a summer and academic-year Saturday program have a lasting impact?

Our dedicated teachers, accelerated curriculum, and the beautiful setting of the Horace Mann School satisfy students' desire to learn.

As a Grade 3-12 program, SOH is a welcoming second home for students for ten years.
SOH students thrive among like-minded peers. The support of their SOH friends plays an important role in our students' achievements. Additionally, at SOH, students learn that although their parents didn't go to college, they can. Our alumni have enrolled at over 125 colleges and universities, including Harvard, Cornell, and MIT.  Our college graduates are pursuing careers in education, finance, medicine, and technology.

Students say, "We couldn't have done it without SOH!" "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Walter Harris

FOJP Service Corporation

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?