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Saturday Academy


2021 - 2022






Joel Schaefer


Andover Schools have participated in Saturday

Academies promoted by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of

American History for over a decade. The Saturday

Academy programs provides students with the

opportunity to explore specific subjects of American

History through the use of primary documents over a six

week period on Saturday mornings. Classes are taught

two times- one from 9-10:20 AM and the second offering

is from 10:30-11:50 AM. Breakfast is provided usually in

the form of doughnuts and bottled water. The enrichment

program allows educators to select meaningful subjects

in American History that often cannot be explored with

the proper depth during a calendar school year. Thus,

students are engaged in the historical discipline of

interpretation, creation, problem solving, and discovery of

a subject or era of history that they may not otherwise be

exposed to in the classroom. Students are allowed to

enroll in either one or two classes. Often teachers create

games or contests where small prizes can be won- such

as a history book, calendar, food, or t-shirt. The program

is intended to provide students with a relaxed

atmosphere where students can learn without

consequence, be around teachers who love the specific

subject, and students who want to be there on a

Saturday morning to enrich their understanding of our

great nation through a unique lens of American history.

The Saturday Academy program allows students to

choose typically from six courses designed by teachers.

One of the courses tends to be geared specifically for

middle-schoolers, one course is designed to help

students prepare for the AP US History exam, and the

other four courses are designed to allow the teachers to

take a subject/issue that he/she is passionate about in

history and design six 80 minute lessons which allows

students to gain a deeper understanding of the

subject/issue. Thus, students in grades 6-12 have the

opportunity to explore a new course every year that they

often may not be able to discover within the framework of

the state curriculum and time constraints. For example,

in previous Saturday Academies, students have spoken

with criminal investigators and a local judge to

understand criminal behavior associated with serial

killers, designed alternative memorials that convey

symbolic meaning for a 9/11 tribute, created lyrics to

songs that promote American patriotism in World War 2

or protest in the Vietnam War, and explored

entrepreneurial ideas through an American

Entrepreneurs class. The program is designed where

students do not have homework, teachers do not grade,

and all work is self-contained to the Saturday mornings

This provides students with the knowledge that the

program is for sheer enrichment and love of the subject

matter to become a better citizen in our American