Specialties & Clubs

  • Specialties Offered

    The Sumner provides specialties to enhance the learning of our students.  Each student/classroom receives between 4-6 specialties a week per year and specific offerings change from year to year based on grade level and school schedule.  All students have gym at least once per week. Below is a summary of the specialties offered at the Sumner.


    Technology, Grades:  1 - 6

    Over the past few years, the Sumner has been working on integrating technology into everyday learning our students are doing.  Utilizing technology, teachers are able to customize the curriculum so that students can access learning best suited to them. This is a long-term, multi-faceted, and evolving process that the students are embracing in and out of the classroom.  Student and teacher growth in using these tools is remarkable. Our goal is to prepare students for using technology, build their technology fluency, and to supplement core curriculum. 

    Reading Software
    Reading A-Z; RAZ Kids; and Lexia for students in grades K through 2nd grade.
    Math Software
    Symphony Math for all grades.
    Writing / Reading
    Think CERCA for students in grades 4th and 5th.
    Digital Backpacks
    Clever provides students in grades 2nd– 5th access to a variety of educational tools for reading, writing, mathematics, typing, coding, and many more. 

    We are all very excited about how the Sumner is embracing technology, and how far the students have come in a relatively short period of time. Our teachers and students are excellent collaborators, risk takers, and problems solvers.  We are excited to see the students’ skills bubble up each year, allowing them to do more and more transformative projects. This barely scratches the surface how technology is being used in the student’s every day work at the Sumner. Ask your kids how they are using computers!  For more information or your student’s log-in credentials speak to their teachers or contact Ms. Kate at kklein2@bostonpublicschools.org. 

    To see our students’ work go to instagram.com/msk21c (@msk21c); Ms Kate’s 21c Classroom at msk21cclass.tumblr.com. 

    Music, Grades:  K1 – 6

    The Music program at the Sumner uses various genres of music, to engage students in creative thinking, writing and performance. The goal of the music program is for each student to explore different styles of song writing and performance techniques and gain confidence in the process. We also have an instrumental band program for our upper grades. Our partnership with Berklee College of music has created a unique instrument program which allows students to learn from some of Berklee's top instructors. 

    Follow Mr. Houchin's youtube channel to see how he uses media arts for some amazing projects. 


    Theatre, Grades:  K1 – 6

    The Theatre Arts Program is focused on fostering a creative community with an emphasis on safety, respect and responsibility.  We work with the tools that children bring to school every day: body, voice and imagination. We use these tools to build literacy skills and confidence. Each class is a workshop that guides students through process, though occasionally we collaborate to present a performance for other classes and/or family members.  In the early grades, students sing, move, act and tell stories and are exposed to the creative process. In the middle grades, students begin to learn theatre vocabulary and content. They are given problems to solve during class time. As students enter fourth and fifth grade, they are given the opportunity to select special club courses such as dance, create movement, comedy improvisation and musical theatre.  At every grade level students practice inquiry, cooperation, communication, and perseverance - essential elements for success in the 21st century. 

    Physical Education, Grades:  K1-6

    The goal of weekly Physical Education classes year after year has been to promote an active and positive learning environment to launch the development of student's movement skills, health related fitness, social/personal skills and lifelong physical activity skills. 

    The Physical Education program at the Sumner School aims to expose the students to a variety of physical activities, such as swimming, biking, soccer, rowing, and others that will foster the development of knowledge, skills, confidence and enjoyment needed to achieve lifelong physical fitness and wellness.

    Literacy through Visual Arts, Grades:  K1-6

    The art team uses various literatures from autobiographies and biographies on famous artists, to fun and stimulating picture books to engage students in a related art activity.  Embedded in each lesson are the elements of art, technique, fine motor skills, tool/material safety, and collaboration. We want the art room to be a safe place for each student to explore, try new things and gain confidence in the process.  We hope that students finish each piece with a sense of pride towards their efforts. Examples: color wheel, line, shape, texture, blending, tints and shades, ways to embellish work, exhibiting work, critique and constructive criticism.


    Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, the Sumner School is expanding its arts offerings to include dance instruction.  More information about our amazing new dance teacher and the elements of dance she will be bringing to our students to come!


    Clubs, Grades:  4-6

    Students in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades have the opportunity to choose electives or Clubs.  Students have Clubs on Friday afternoons.  This is a great way for students to have choice in their education based on their interests.  This time is referred to as Clubs but takes place during the academic day immediately following lunch. 

    At the beginning of each trimester students pick their top 3 clubs.  The ultimate goal is to have all students receive their top choice over the year.  Clubs offered may include: Swimming, Anime, Technology, Visual Arts, Community Philanthropy, Girls Who Code, Origami, Theatre/Dance, Chess, Cooking, Woodworking, Knitting/Creativity, Comic Book Making, Gardening, Fiber Arts, and many others.