A Nearly-Normal Summer For GRACE 2021

Credit to Marlene Ma ’24

Despite masks fogging up chemistry goggles, GRACE 2021 resembled a normal summer, preparing rising sophomores for their entry into Upper School this fall. 

Accelerating learning as well as challenging and enriching scholars on campus this summer, GRACE reached a new level of success in 2021. This summer saw a record number of participants, with 47 students (53%) of the Form of ’24 attending. Seven of those were new members of the form. 

In addition to returning to campus after last summer’s online adaptation, GRACE scholars also experienced more freedom with Covid-19 health precautions. “I think that the Covid protocols were a lot less restricting than the ones during the school year and we all enjoyed the freedom,” said participant Lulu Jerrett ’24. 

Scholars were also required to board during GRACE to ensure a closed-off community. The weekly Covid-19 tests – which were all negative – continued, and masks were mandatory indoors. However, unlike the regulations of the previous school year, masks were optional outdoors and out-of-school trips resumed.

GRACE scholar Jessica Lee ’24 said that, compared to expectations, “GRACE was much more flexible as we frequently had the opportunity to go off-campus.” Along with trips to Kimball Farm, a bowling alley, a trampoline park, and a nearby movie theatre, the yearly trip to Zoar Outdoor – an adventure resort – took place, where scholars enjoyed ziplining and white-water rafting. 

Classes at GRACE were rigorous, but scholars embraced the challenges and confirmed success this summer through the end-of-program feedback survey. All 47 scholars responded that they would recommend GRACE to future participants, describing the summer program as a “challenging,” “fun,” and a “bonding” experience. As pointed out in the survey, Groton School’s emphasis on providing a healthy balance between academics and extracurriculars was also greatly appreciated.

“Although GRACE is mostly for learning, it is also so much fun,” said a respondent in the GRACE feedback survey. “GRACE is an amazing experience that I definitely don’t regret taking part in.”