Gooden Offers Innovative Summer School for the 21st Century

Making movies. Creating volcanos. Hip hop dancing. Robotics with Lego Mindstorms®. Playing the ukulele. Seeing Space Shuttle Endeavor.

This is not your father’s summer school.

“The Gooden School offers a summer program for the 21st century,” said Patty Patano, Head of School. “Our summer session is designed to challenge, excite and enrich students through a balance of innovative and classical classroom activities together with a variety of outdoor sports, fun and games.”

For students, in kindergarten through 8th grade, opportunities abound this summer to move ahead academically, catch up in areas that are challenging, or just have fun with friends in a beautiful and safe environment on the Gooden campus in Sierra Madre.

Gooden‘s summer program is offered Monday through Friday, June 16 – July 18. For more information, a full class schedule or to register, visit, or call Laurie Tortell, Summer School Director, at (626) 355-2410, ext. 28.

Movie making for students in grades 5 – 8 offers a reel chance to explore filmmaking from concept to big screen. Beginning with writing a script, storyboarding the scenes, capturing film, editing scenes and final production, students will create and showcase their own films.

A popular offering for middle schoolers is a preview of the ISEE and HSPT tests required for application to independent high schools. The course will look at the different components of the tests in English through practice exams and discussion of the essential concepts covered on the tests.

Younger students, kindergarten through 4th grade, can enjoy such outdoor games as capture the flag, parachute games, relays, knockout, zookeeper, noodle games, hockey, soccer, Frisbee golf, potato sack relays, and tug-of-war.

Students in grades K-6 are invited to travel vicariously to several different countries through cooking popular and unique dishes while learning about the country’s culture, language, traditions, and customs. Countries include Mexico, China, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Japan and more. Students also learn about kitchen safety, culinary skills, food preparation and group work while using math and reasoning skills to accurately prepare dishes. Each chef will create a personal Cultural Cookbook, and a map, flag and fact sheet for the country we are studying. And each student will also decorate his or her own chef hat to wear throughout the class.

Field trip adventures include checking out the Space Shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center, as well as trips to the Los Angeles Zoo and Scandia Amusement Park.

For those who want to get a jump start on academics, classical offerings include math skills, algebra, language arts, poetry and short stories, American cultural studies, writers workshops, science classes and more.

Arts and crafts such as origami, jewelry making and ceramics are offered for grades K – 3. Outdoor fun for various ages includes water games, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, flag football, and more. And students can take as few or as many classes as they would like, allowing for family schedule flexibility.

“In keeping with Gooden’s rich tradition bringing academics and the arts together, our classes and activities allow each student the chance to discover or enhance his or her gifts through academic excellence, musical, artistic or dramatic ability, and through sports endeavors,“ Patano said.

Founded in 1975, The Gooden School is an independent Episcopal School, K-8, where academics and the arts come together. Reflecting Gooden’s high academic standards, and reputation for the arts and service-learning, graduates are accepted by many of the finest high schools in the area including Campbell Hall, Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart, La Salle, Loyola, Mayfield, St. Francis, and Westridge Sr.

The Gooden School, 192 North Baldwin Avenue, Sierra Madre, (626) 355-2410 or visit for more information.




Pasadena Now has been published daily since April, 2004 and is among the very oldest continously operated community news websites in the U.S.

Pasadena Now strives to publish a full spectrum of news and information articles in service to the entire community. The publication will remain free to readers and will not erect paywalls.

Pasadena Now strives to provide factual, unbiased reporting. Our opinion section is open to all.