For a Smooth Transition to High School

Step Up Study Skills will be offered on the St. Thomas High School campus in the spring of 2020 to begin preparing eighth grade students for the rigors of high school.  Step Up Study Skills classes are coed, open to all eighth graders. Three different sessions, each session with three separate class dates, will be conducted as follows:

Session 1– Saturday January 18, Saturday January 25, and Saturday February 1

Session 2– Saturday February 22, Saturday February 29, and Saturday March 7

Session 3– Saturday March 28, Saturday April 4, and Saturday April 18

Step Up Study Skills will be taught by Rod Takacs, Dean of Students and Summer Study Skills Instructor, St. Thomas High School.  He can be reached at if you have questions.  All classes will be conducted in Turner Hall from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  The cost for each three-class session is $349. Please read below to learn about the Step Up Study Skills program.

St. Thomas High School is providing classes inspired by the most well-researched study skills curriculum available, the SMARTS Executive Function & Mentoring Program.  This curriculum was developed by Dr. Lynn Meltzer of the Research Institute for Learning and Development and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Classes are open to all current eighth grade students preparing for high school.

The program consists of six major themes in its instructional units:

  • Introduction to Executive Function Strategies: Building a Community of Meta-cognitive Learners
  • Goal Setting: Understanding the Big Picture and Breaking it Down
  • Shifting and Flexible Problem Solving: The Foundation of Learning Success
  • Organizing Materials, Time, Ideas and Information
  • Effective Study Techniques for Maintaining Focus
  • Self-monitoring and Checking

Specific activities included in the instruction:

  • Identification of personal strengths and challenges
  • Discovering individualized strategies for learning
  • Creating personalized and achievable goals
  • Learning cognitive flexibility in approaches to reading, writing, and solving math problems
  • Learning to organize belongings
  • Discovering the importance of planning
  • Using calendars for daily, weekly, and monthly planning
  • Breaking down assignments into meaningful parts
  • Developing strategies for organizing thoughts in note-taking, essay writing, and studying
  • Understanding memory strategies
  • Learning to engage in self-monitoring in the use of the above strategies

Success in high school depends on more than innate intellectual ability.  Students must practice disciplined approaches to learning using sound techniques if they are to succeed in a rigorous curriculum.

Step Up Study Skills provides students with the foundation and tools necessary for success.  There are a limited number of seats available for this innovative program inspired by the Research Institute for Learning and Development. Reserve your spot today!

Registration includes access to all online courses for effective follow-up and reinforcement at the student’s own pace.