Program Overview Higher Achievement is rigorous. From 5th through 8th grade, Higher Achievement scholars spend 650 hours a year learning an advanced curriculum that is aligned to state standards. This commitment is in addition to attending school for the standard 900 hours a year. Higher AchievementÃ?Â¢Ã??Ã??s year-round program is grounded in research. It combines high expectations with high support Ã?Â¢Ã??Ã?? demanding academic work plus mentoring, skill-building, individual student achievement plans, and personal encouragement. The program includes Afterschool Academy, Summer Academy, and high school placement services. Afterschool Academy includes core subjects, such as literature and mathematics, as well as seminars, artistic electives, field trips, and opportunities to engage in community service. Summer Academy includes coursework in literature, science, mathematics, social studies, and electives, as well as a three-day trip to a college. Small classes and mentoring sessions encourage intellectual curiosity and teach both basic skills and critical thinking. The program culminates with high school placement services, which help scholars advance to top academic high schools. In addition to helping scholars identify schools that fit their needs, Higher Achievement helps them prepare for placement tests, practice interview skills, complete applications, and identify resources for financial assistance. The Higher Achievement program also includes special academic events, including spelling bees, student readings of their own poetry, Olympics of the Mind, and the Green Apple awards.