Refine your Harkness learning skills and communicate with House friends, new and old, in this summer’s Lawrenceville Virtual Scholars (LVS) program!

Lawrenceville Virtual Scholars

July 13 - 30, 2020

Students will meet virtually with Lawrencville faculty and curious classmates three times a week for three hour classes. LVS offers an interdisciplinary course of study to students across the globe, from those looking to brush up on particular skills to those eager to prepare to return to school.

High School

Scholars will participate in a humanities and STEAM class led by Lawrenceville faculty, with a specific focus on implementing Harkness skills for meaningful discussions and deeper understanding. Virtual Scholars will prepare you for boarding school life, or another rigorous academic setting, with a blend of creative, real-life, problem-solving challenges, reflective writing and discussion, as well as interdisciplinary study designed to develop geometry and algebra skills.

Middle School

Scholars will engage their Harkness skills in conversation with one other and dive deep into both humanities and STEAM courses, all under the guidance of Lawrenceville faculty. Humanities skill development will focus on close reading, expository writing (clarity and organization), and discussion and presentation skills. The STEAM component asks students to step up their problem-solving and the real-life application of classroom knowledge including algebraic thinking and the scientific method.


Scholars will be assigned a House! As part of their House team, scholars will take part in advisory groups, part of Lawrenceville life designed to develop communication and community skills in a single-sex, age-grouped setting. The advisory groups are led by faculty and prefects, who are current Lawrenceville students and recent graduates!


Scholars will collaborate with their peers around a virtual Harkness Table to gain a deeper understanding of content and their own learning process. Class discussions will offer scholars opportunities to develop skills for critical thinking and to apply those skills in a meaningful way to their LVS classroom and beyond!

Morning and Evening Sessions

Virtual Scholars runs July 13-30. Students choose whether they will attend as a SUN or a MOON!

Each session offers nine, three-hour class days, spread over the three weeks:

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • ☼ SUN

    Designed for students who prefer to attend classes early. Classes are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings;  9:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m., EDT

    The first class will be held on July 14, 2020, and the ninth class will be held on July 30, 2020.
  • ☾ MOON

    This session is designed for domestic students who prefer to keep their mornings free or international students. Classes are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m., EDT

    The first class will be held on July 13, 2020 and the ninth class will be held on July 29, 2020.

Here’s what a typical day at LVS looks like!




☼ 9:00-9:20am ☾ 7:00-7:20pm Opening meeting to focus the day, followed by leadership and communication activities in advisory groups

☼ 9:20-10:20am ☾ 7:20-8:20am Humanities class, including breakouts with Harkness mentor

☼ 10:20-10:50am ☾ 8:20-8:50pm Guided activity, House games (part of Lawrenceville life!)

☼ 10:50-11:50am ☾ 8:50-9:50pm STEAM class, including breakouts with Harkness mentor

☼ 11:50am-12:00pm ☾ 9:50-10:00pm Closing interdisciplinary discussion, critical thinking and reflection with prefects and faculty

Virtual Scholars Technology Guidelines

Hardware Recommendations
Intel core I5/m5 or I7/m7 processor or higher
8-12 GB RAM
Windows 10 Version 1607 or higher
MaxOS X 10.14 ("Mojave") or higher

Internet Speeds:
Minimum 4-Mbps, wired connection recommended.
Check your speed at

Students are expected to use a webcam during class.
Please see the enrollment agreement posted on the family portal. 

Be prepared to use a microphone frequently during the program. The laptop microphone may not be sufficient for clear participation; headsets are recommended.
We do not have a recommendation for a specific headset - the earbuds with microphone that come with many smartphones work well!

Student Conduct:
Students should join from a suitable, quiet location with a computer that permits full participation in the class activities.
Please review the enrollment agreement for expectations about class participation and app usage.

The courses will meet via Zoom and the learning management system Haiku. Classroom teachers may use various apps, including flipgrid to supplement the course material.  

Link to Haiku sign in page (LVS email addresses will be provided to students):


List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • What is Harkness Learning?

    Harkness learning is a pedagogical framework that emphasizes peer-to-peer engagement over teacher-student transfer of knowledge. In a Harkness classroom, the teacher and students sit as equals around a circular table where they examine in conversation complex questions and formulate potential answers. On a virtual platform, Harkness works in exactly the same way — only there’s no table! Faculty will be joined by prefects who will help coach the students in Harkness skills and serve as tutors in the small group breakout rooms.
  • What do prefects do?

    Prefects are new or recent Lawrencville alumni who are present in LVS classes to support student growth in numerous ways. In addition to the one-on-one instruction students receive from Lawrenceville faculty, prefects coach Harkness skills, promote individual well-being, and occasionally offer virtual high-fives.
  • What is the cost?

    The cost for the three-week session is $2,400 per student.
  • What is the student:teacher ratio?

    The ratio of student to Lawrenecville faculty is 8-12:1 per class. Each class is supported by 2-3 dedicated prefects who provide additional support in the small group activities.
  • Can my son or daughter enroll in a class with a friend?

    Yes. If they wish. Students are encouraged to enroll in a class with a friend, although they will surely make more.
  • Are alternative class meeting times available?

    Yes. In recognition of our diverse student population from countries across the globe, both the middle school and high school programs are offered during a “Sun” (morning “Lawrenceville time”) and “Moon” (late evening “Lawrenceville time”) session. Students should choose which session they plan to attend.
  • Is screen time a concern?

    All LVS courses are designed to reduce screen strain to the greatest degree possible. Classes are scheduled around numerous breaks and teachers are cognizant of over-exposure. Since Harkness learning is grounded in conversational exchange, intense focus on screens is reduced.
  • What is the academic component like?

    All scholars will participate in interdisciplinary humanities and STEAM classes designed to engage students at the high school or middle school level. Specifically, high school scholars will engage in real-life problem solving that uses reflective writing and discussion and will develop geometry and algebra skills in an interdisciplinary setting. Middle school scholars will apply their classroom knowledge, algebraic thinking, and the scientific method to solve problems.
  • What is a House?

    The House System is an integral part of The Lawrenceville School’s educational mission. Each student belongs to a single-sex House with scholars of the same age where they live, work, and thrive in the company of their peers, and each House is steeped in history and tradition. In LVS, students are organized into Houses for co-curricular activities, advisory sessions, and for opportunities to practice leadership and community-building skills.
At Lawrenceville Summer Scholars, we provide an educational summer program that produces innovative leaders, breakthrough thinkers, and imaginative problem solvers.