For a Smooth Transition to High School!

Step Up Study Skills will be offered by St. Thomas High School in the summer of 2020 to begin preparing students for the rigors of high school.  The instruction will be conducted on a safe and secure remote learning platform. The classes are coed, open to all rising ninth graders.

Step Up Study Skills will be taught by Rod Takacs, Dean of Students and Summer Study Skills Instructor, St. Thomas High School, and Camille Hagerty, eighth grade teacher.  Mrs. Hagerty taught at St. Christopher School, as well as in the Goose Creek and La Porte Independent School Districts. Mr. Takacs can be reached at if you have questions.

These classes are 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 rising ninth grade students preparing for high school.

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

Unit 1: Setting and Achieving Goals

This unit will give students the skills they need to build a pattern of success.  Students begin by identifying their strengths and challenges and recognizing the best way to handle the obstacles they may encounter.  Students will learn to create effective goals using our CAMP Success strategy. Finally, students will learn how to achieve their goals using strategic flexibility.

Unit 2: Getting Organized, Managing Your Time, and Improving Your Study Habits

This unit will lead students to develop habits of organizing their materials, time, ideas, and information. Students will discover the importance of planning by using daily, weekly, and monthly planners. Student learning will become much more meaningful as students build effective learning techniques to maintain focus.

Unit 3: Reading and Taking Notes from Textbooks

This unit will equip students with strategies for organizing thoughts in note taking. Students will be provided with the tools necessary for successfully and effectively finding the crucial information in a textbook. A variety of note taking techniques will be presented for students to choose the one that will work best for their learning preference.

Unit 4:  Memory Strategies

This unit will give students an understanding of memory strategies. Students will be able to effectively commit the content they learn to their long-term memory.  Students will practice a variety of strategies for remembering information to discover which is most effective for them.  Memory strategies provides students with a structure that makes it easier to learn new, related material.

Unit 5: Steps in the Learning Process: Developing Critical Thinking Skills

In this unit, students will hone their “Learning Cycle” to become better self-learners by developing the critical thinking skills necessary to do so. Throughout this unit students will equip themselves with learning strategies that help them develop the ability to set goals based on the task at hand; monitor their progress toward the fulfillment of those goals; and reflect on how effectively they completed the learning task.  The students will be presented with strategies to use BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER a learning task.

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

 CLICK HERE to Register TODAY!  


Five different sessions, each session with five separate class dates, will be conducted as follows:

Session 1 – The week of June 8, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to Noon | Remote

Session 2 – The week of June 15, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to Noon | Remote

Session 3 – The week of June 22, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to Noon | Remote

Session 4 – The week of July 13, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to Noon | Remote

Session 5 – The week of July 20, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to Noon | Remote

Cost: The cost for each five-class session is $295, and includes class notes as well as access to online courses for effective follow-up and reinforcement throughout the school year.