Horizons offers an intensive summer session and Saturday workshops during the school year. Both programs feature hands-on experiential learning, skilled professional teachers, and a student-teacher ratio of 5:1. Classes are small, with no more than 15 students, and led by veteran teachers working side-by-side with Horizons Assistant Teachers (HATs)--often Horizons graduates or students and alumni of our independent school partners.


summer program

The Summer Program provides six weeks of full-time learning. Students rotate through classes in reading, language arts, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), supplemented by field trips across the region. Classes are designed not just to build mastery of fundamental skills but to help students become creative thinkers and problem-solvers and to work effectively in teams.

The project-based STEAM curriculum is a highlight of the program. It includes coding, robotics, and 3D printing and culminates each summer in a robotics competition with all three sites.

SWIM instruction

Swimming is an integral part of the summer program and a unique aspect of the Horizons learning strategy. In learning to swim, students do more than master an important skill; they also learn strategies for tackling fears and overcoming challenges. The resulting self-confidence and resilience foster success in and outside school.

what's included

The program includes round-trip bus transportation to/from partner school locations, breakfast, lunch, and snack, swimming, field trips, and supplies. Middle school students, in addition to the regular program, have a social curriculum component which aims to help prepare them for entry to high school.

saturday program

The Saturday Program is held on six Saturdays during the school year. The half-day program reinforces classroom lessons and allows students to work on complex STEAM projects, such as designing, building, and automating model towns. The Saturday program also keeps families connected to Horizons. It includes round-trip bus transportation and snack.


Since its inception, Horizons has been committed to serving children from a broad range of academic ability. Typically we seek to enroll a class in which one-third of the students are above grade level and two-thirds are at or below grade level. Click here to read more about the rationale for this central component of the Horizons philosophy.


To be eligible to attend Horizons, students must qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program. Preference is given to students with siblings currently enrolled in the program.

Students are recommended by their teachers, typically for the summer after kindergarten, and are re-enrolled for consecutive summers,  continuing through middle school. 

The enrollment fee for families is $20 per summer.

DC OSSE Summer Food Service Program Public Notification

Horizons sites in the District of Columbia participate in the Summer Food Service Program overseen by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Children who are part of households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits are automatically eligible to receive free meals. For more information, please click here.


program dates

The 2018-2019 Saturday Program will operate on the following dates:

November 3, 2018

December 1, 2018

February 2, 2019

March 2, 2019 -

April 6, 2019

May 4, 2019

The 2019 Summer program will operate on the following schedule:

Teacher Training and Orientation:
June 17-21, 2019

Horizons Program:
June 24-August 2, 2019 (There is no program July 4.)