The after school program, formally known as the Health Education Leadership Program (HELP) Academy, will support students from the four feeder middle schools, located in Wards 7 and 8, that feed into Coolidge High School. Over 50% of the students of Coolidge come from Wards 7 & 8. Given that Coolidge has now become a NAF School, with the opening of the Health Sciences Academy, we anticipate it may switch to being an application-only school, similar to Duke Ellington or School Without Walls, two application-only public high schools in the District of Columbia. The after school program will ensure that students from those four feeder middle schools are prepared to be competitive applicants.
The HELP Academy will encompass after school support programs and include an enrichment program for parents, teachers, and counselors. Much like its counterpart, the HELP Academy will focus on teaching academic and study skills, professionalism and soft skills, and community service. A number of partner organizations, such as the local chapter of NatureBridge, will provide experiential learning activities for both the students and their parents. The parental engagement piece is a critical component of this program, with activities being held on Saturday once a month. The program will offer support to parents considering entry into health careers.