Heads Up has three primary, tuition-free program components:
the Summer Program, Saturday Leadership Academy (SLA), and the Workforce Development Program.
Our Summer Program is the “bread and butter” of Heads Up. Over four consecutive summers, students occupy the Head-Royce campus and participate in a four-week academic intensive that solidifies the core content from the previous grade, and helps to preview key material for the upcoming academic year.
Each student takes four academic classes, including grade-level math, science, humanities, and Success is Now, a course that explicitly teaches study skills and learning strategies. In addition to their academic course load, Heads Up students also have access to a variety of enrichment options. These classes are chosen thoughtfully with the intention of exposing students to new interests and hobbies. This summer we offered: Swim lessons, Hip Hop Dance, Soul Sister Wisdom, Food Revolution, Drawing/Crafting, Tennis, Theatre, Music Production & DJing, Coding, Eskrima Martial Arts, Digital Media & Photography, Athletics, Pangea Filmmaking, and Fashion Design.
As part of our summer programming we intentionally build in community building activities and excursions. Below is a snapshot of our summer special events:
Sonoma Ropes Course
(6th & 7th Grade)
Shadow Cliffs Lake
Retreat at NatureBridge
I’m proud of facing my fear of tall heights because that was really scary and when I jumped off I just felt free, like I could do anything I wanted to.
- Heads Up 7th Grader
Saturday Leadership Academy (SLA)
While the Summer Program is intentional about addressing core, academic concepts and preventing “summer slide,” the Saturday Leadership Academy provides students with an opportunity to connect with a diverse group of instructors, their peers, and explore leadership development curriculum.
Heads Up students return to Head-Royce quarterly during the academic year to participate in the Saturday Leadership Academy (SLA). At the quarterly SLA days, Heads Up relishes the opportunity to bring the entire cohort together for fun activities and field trips that our students may not have access to during the year. Over the course of four Saturdays, we focus on:
community engagement and service,
leadership development, and
Two Saturdays a year are dedicated to a conference-style experience where students rotate through one to two workshops taught by local educators, artists, and program partners, while the other two Saturdays are dedicated to getting into the community through intentionally planned service projects and field trips.
SLA Day Models
Day of Community Action
Thank you for making a program that my children can see themselves in, is distinctly different than their regular schooling, and something they actually look forward to! - Heads Up Parent
Workforce Development Program
Shifting from academic enrichment to workforce development, Heads Up provides dozens of underrepresented students from Oakland with their first employment opportunity.
Heads Up students graduate after completing four full years of programming. As alums, they are eligible to apply to our Workforce Development Program. Within this framework, Heads Up graduates receive extensive job training, college readiness workshops, and SAT/ACT test prep.