Academic Institute

The two-week Middle School Academic Institute provides students entering Grades 6 - 8 with the opportunity to develop new interests and to prepare academically and socially for the upcoming school year.

July 18-29
8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. daily
Tuition: $1000

The program provides a safe and supportive environment where students can explore a variety of stimulating elective courses. Classes are taught by a combination of dedicated and creative Brentwood School faculty and other outstanding professionals in the area. The full day program allows each student to customize his or her own curriculum based on individual interests and needs.

Lunch is included daily.

2016 Academic Institute Schedule

Elective Period 1

Elective Period 2

Elective Period 3

8:00 - 9:40 a.m.
10:10 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
12:40 - 2:20 p.m.
AlgebraPhotographyArt Exploration
PhotographyCreative Writing
Creative Writing
Pre-AlgebraIntroduction to Film Making
Computer Programs and Apps
6th Grade Math SkillsLego Mindstorms Robotics
Writer's ToolboxWriter's ToolboxWellness Workshop
Classic Movies and Recreating ScenesScene Study and Performance

Afternoon Sports (pick from Sports Camps)

Elective Class Descriptions:

Bicycle Engineering

Students will engage in the process of remodeling old, broken-down bicycles. Young engineers will break down a bike to its basic components, then clean, sand, paint, and reassemble. Participants will explore the function of gears, brakes, and steering columns. To culminate, the group will choose a charity to donate the refurbished bikes to.

Computer Programs and Apps

Get immersed in the computer applications and programs that will make you a successful and creative student. Students will develop competency in the following: Google Suite (docs, sheets, sketch-up, slides), Microsoft Office Suite (word, excel, ppt), Adobe Photoshop, Audacity, and others. Students will complete projects to highlight their learning and have a chance to present their work to the class.

Creative Writing

This class will provide strategies for students to develop and hone creative and short-story writing skills. Students will learn a wide range of pre-writing, brainstorming, and organizational strategies, the basics of developing tone and point of view, and techniques to add flair to their writing style. Through close, individualized conferencing with the instructor and a series of focused peer-review workshops, students will have the opportunity to develop, revise, edit, and share several original pieces of writing.


In this course, students will explore a wide range of dance styles and techniques including: Salsa, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, and Hip-Hop. Students will learn the creative process to create and perform an ample variety of dance styles.

Film Making

Students will take part in creating a storyboard for their film that will guide them as they shoot. The process of shooting will involve using locations around campus, inviting actors to join scenes, and using the school's film equipment respectfully and responsibly. The footage will be fully edited; adding music, titles, and special effects to enhance their creative storytelling. The final product will be presented in a screening at the end of each session.

Improv Workshop

Learn the basics of improvisation and build listening and reacting skills through creative game play. Create hilarious scenes by learning to trust your instincts, your imagination and your scene partner.

Introduction to Movie Classics

Students will watch a selection of critically acclaimed full-length movies primarily from 1920-1980 and respond to the viewing experience both orally in class discussion as well as in short written assessments. In certain cases, students will compare their opinion of the movie to critics who viewed it when it first came out. The class will consider elements such as plot, cinematography, characters, set design, costume design, and the use of black and white versus color. This is an opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the history of film and some of the famous movie actors from the past.


This course will be a boot camp to learn the basics of photography and then learn way beyond the basics and how to adapt the technical knowledge to real world situations. Get a glimpse into the world of being a professional photographer. This class will be fun with a lot of hands on shooting.


This course provides a preparation for students entering a full Algebra course in the fall. Topics include manipulating integers, recognizing like terms, greatest common factor, least common multiple, translating sentences into mathematical expressions and equations, and solving simple equations.


This course provides basic math review for students entering Pre-Algebra. Topics covered in this class include basic operations, decimals, fractions, percentages, rounding, scientific notation, order of operations, multiples, factors, exponents, square roots, absolute value, and positive and negative integers. There will also be an introduction to solving linear algebraic equations.

Lego Mindstorms: Robotics

This course introduces the fascinating science of robotics and covers the entire process: designing, building, testing, and deploying robots. Using Lego Mind Storm, students design, build, and program their own robots, individually and in groups, to accomplish a variety of tasks that they specify.

Scene Study and Performance

Learn basic acting skills and how to analyze a scene. Then, we'll dive in to perform different dramatic and comedic scenes with members of the class ensemble.


Do you have a story to tell? Learn how to write out and hone your best stories through plot structure and descriptive writing. After a crash course on the basic formatting of screenplays, develop your ideas into a short, original screenplay.

Wellness Workshop
This workshop will be an opportunity for participants to practice and learn tangible and specific skills that will enhance their physical and emotional well-being and encourage them to become thoughtful people who are empathetic to others. The workshop will specifically focus on:
  • developing mindful fitness routines to build confidence, health, and a sense of well-being
  • enhancing self-esteem and a sense of identity
  • following through, organizing, and prioritizing
  • enhancing emotional intelligence and sensitivity to others

Activities will include stretching and breath-work, yoga, strength-training and jogging, reading, journaling, and discussing related articles dealing with above issues.

Writers’ ToolBox

The main goals of this class are for students to write as much as possible, to work closely with the instructor and with peers to edit and improve written work, and to build vocabulary and grammar skills. Students will apply these skills through creative and analytical writing assignments. Skills and activities that will be covered include:

  • Techniques for brainstorming/pre-writing
  • Organizational strategies to plan for writing
  • Individualized vocabulary building and grammar review
  • Peer-review and one-on-one review with instructor
  • Developing evidence-based arguments
  • Editing and revising
  • Creative exercises designed to make writing clear, specific, and interesting
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