JumpStart is a two-week program for first- and second-year international students that accelerates their transiton into the Hillside community and helps prepare them for the year ahead. The program isn't just about ESL; it also covers American culture, daily routine, and the Hillside environment, and is extremely valuable for second language learners who are making a big transition from their home countries and families.
Along with English language classes, there is an acclimation class that familiarizes new students with Hillside ways, and the students meet with the Hillside administrators to understand dining hall etiquette, the health center, sports, residential life, technology, academics, and more. The daily schedule offers extensive classwork in well-equipped rooms and time in Hillside's "International Cafe" where the boys can sip a cold drink and practice their English with their schoolmates and trained teachers. Early diagnostic testing ensures each boy is treated according to his own skill level.
Yet while the goal of Jumpstart is to get young international learners off to a smooth start academically, socially and linguistically, there is another very important element to the program: Fun. We want the boys to enjoy this important time while they're learning. This goes beyond classwork to daily local trips to parks, rivers and lakes; activities such as visiting Six Flags theme park, local Boston excursions, laser tag and barbecues; and two hours of sports per day, including wiffle ball, swimming, touch football, dodgeball, ping pong and more.