Monday, June 30, 2008

Cornell University Arts Quad

Designated in 1990, the Arts Quadrangle Historic District comprises some of the earliest surviving buildings on the Cornell University campus. Morrill Hall, the first building constructed was individually listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and was listed on the National Register in 1966. The district includes 10 buildings, two statues, and one memorial. Olin Library, constructed in 1961, is a non-contributing building.

Some pictures of the dorms in Hanover, New Hampshire where our SEAD students are staying and the Dartmouth and Cornell University and Columbia University campuses.

Some photos from our sendoff of the Columbia and Dartmouth students, the arrival at Dartmouth, two of our Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) students, JP and Brandon, and one of our special interviewers, attorney Ismail Ramsey.

Here are some pictures from our Cornell and Columbia events -- dinner with the alumni and sponsors and our presentation to the Hercules City Council.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Here is Wallach Hall -- another part of the Columbia University campus. Our students are enjoying their time tonight getting ready for classes tomorrow. They are taking Math, Physics and Urban Planning.
Check out their thoughts on their blog.
Here's a note from Janna at Columbia:
Hello all!
While I am working on posting the pictures and writing something for the website, I put together an album of some pictures from our cameras. This covers the plane ride and Times Square. More to come! We would have updated earlier but we did not have proper internet connection. We're doing great and having a blast!

Columbia Quad

Here's a picture of the Columbia University Quad where our students are staying. Now in its 21st year, Columbia University's Summer Program for High School Students offers highly motivated students the opportunity of a lifetime: a world-class educational experience set in the most exciting city in the nation. The Summer Program for High School Students in New York City is renowned for its academic rigor, instructional excellence, and the unique opportunity to experience college life in the Ivy League and life in New York City. Take a look at their blog.

Ivy League Connection at Dartmouth College

Yesterday the Dartmouth College cohort of the Ivy league Connection arrived about two hours late after being delayed at our scheduled stop-over in Phoenix. A summer-rain showered the scenic ride from the Manchester airport to the Dartmouth campus, but the students: Dzinya, Yijun, Jasmine, P. P., Jennifer, and Brandon were in good spirits all through the journey. They settled into their dorm rooms after reuniting with the 23 other high school students attending Dartmouth as part of the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) program. All of the SEAD students are in their last year of the program after beginning the program as rising sophomores.
They have bonded into a supportive family of friends and the Dartmouth staff has done an excellent job of facilitating their academic and social development. Today an early thunderstorm began the day's activities. The students attended class and had personal mentoring from the Dartmouth staff.

Mr. M

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Students Are Blogging

The Summer 08 blogs are being set up. Check out the links on the sidebar. Be sure to watch the videos from the Cornell students.

Everyone is doing a great job sharing with us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Enjoyed my stay

I just returned from a long flight after spending four glorious days in Ithaca, New York at Cornell University. I enjoyed this trip even more because I learned so much more about the Campus and its program. I saw that our Summer Studies Students were integrated into the regular campus with full access to all services. I saw them walking to class along with Cornell students who were taking summer classes. I also saw professors who were working on their summer projects. I got to see Cornell students giving guided tours of the campus to interested High School Students. I must say that the guided tours had plenty of interested students.

This is why I am so honored to have twelve of our students taking summer studies classes in Philosophy, Psychology, Hotel Management and Medical History. For our district to have created the Ivy League Connection was innovative, smart and visionary. I saw that we were the only school district in the world that had created such a program. It is truly a delight to be part of it.

I was sad to leave because I had seen such joy and enthusiasm from the students. I am sure that they will do fine and have great stories to tell upon their return.

Finally, it would be nice for them to post daily reports so we have some idea of the challenges that they are facing in being with smart students from around the globe.

That is it for me.

Enjoy the balance of your day. I know that right now you are in Mandatory study programs, so hopefully before you go to sleep you will have something to share with us.

Charles T. Ramsey
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District


What is

The Ivy League Connection?

The Ivy League Connection is a project created in January 2006 by two West Contra Costa Unified School District School Board members – Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg -- to provide students of the District with a chance to participate in summer enrichment programs conducted on Ivy League campuses.

West Contra Costa Unified School District is a diverse, urban school district located in the East Bay across from San Francisco, California. A great majority of our students have not had exposure to the thousands of colleges that exist. The Ivy League Connection is an effort to provide that exposure.

The goal is to significantly boost scholarship and develop leadership skills among all our students. The emphasis here is on having our student participants give back to the entire campus community – sharing what has been learned during the summer experience and assuming a leadership role on campus focused on fostering a “college-going” culture among all student groups.

The program began with an application to and acceptance in the Dartmouth College Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) Program. Six El Cerrito High School students were accepted into this three-year program in January 2006. The SEAD program is designed to accept cohorts of six students from a single school. The students travel to Dartmouth College each summer for three summers.

This three-year model was so impressive that it was replicated at Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania that summer. Cohorts of our students were sent (together with a teacher chaperone) to attend the summer programs.

In order to be selected, students had to be recommended by their teachers, complete student and parent applications, and go through an interview process. This has allowed our District to reach out to the community of alums as well as the professional community to assist us in the interviewing.

What have we accomplished?

Summer 2006:

We sent 14 students (from two District high schools – El Cerrito High School and Kennedy High School) to three Ivy League summer programs:

o Dartmouth College – Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD)
o Brown University – Leadership/Civil Rights
o University of Pennsylvania – Theater Arts

Upon their return, these students have taken on a leadership role on their campuses as well as visited elementary campuses where they shared their experiences. In addition, events have been held where the students have had an opportunity to meet alumni from the various Ivies.

Summer 2007:

We sent 22 students (from four District high schools – El Cerrito High School, Kennedy High School, Richmond High School and Pinole Valley High School) to the following Ivy League summer programs:

o Dartmouth College – Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) (6)
o Brown University – Leadership/Civil Rights and TheatreBridge (11)
o University of Pennsylvania – Theater Arts (2)
o Cornell – Law and Justice (3)

Summer 2008:

We will send 33 students (from five District high schools – adding Hercules High School) to the following summer programs:

o Dartmouth College – Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) (6)

o Brown University – Women in Leadership Institute (6)

o University of Pennsylvania – Biomedical ResearchAcademy (3)

o Cornell University (12) four programs:

Hotel Operations Management (1)
The Individual and the Social World (4)
Body, Mind and Health (3)
Freedom and Justice (4)

o Columbia University (6) three programs:
NYC – An Urban Case Study (1)
Investigations in Theoretical Physics (3)
Survey of Modern Mathematics (2)

The picture above represents almost all of our students who will be traveling to the Ivy League Schools in Summer 2008. The photo was taken at a school board meeting where the students and their families were recognized by the board for their accomplishments.