Dive In Commonwealth


The first cohort of Dive In Commonwealth students in summer 2019 with program director Sasha Eskelund '92, English teacher Katie Hodgkins '11, program assistant Nadia Ali '22, and math teacher Lijia Li

2022 Summer Program Dates: July 11 to August 19 (Tentative)

Seventh-graders! Are you hungry for academic challenge, eager for new extracurriculars, excited to meet friends and mentors, and ready to grow in ways you never imagined? We encourage you to learn more about Dive In Commonwealth, our free academic enrichment program for highly motivated students who would not normally have access to such programs for financial or other reasons. 

Applications for our next Dive In summer cohort will be posted on this page early in 2022. You are welcome to contact program director Sasha Eskelund in the interim. 

Welcoming students from Boston and surrounding communities, Dive In Commonwealth offers middle-schoolers new academic, artistic, and extracurricular opportunities, preparing them for success in high school and beyond—all in a warm, supportive environment with like-minded students and enthusiastic teachers. Our “divers” work hard in their classes, and they have lots of fun, too!
Dive In Commonwealth students leave our program ready for the next phase of their educational journey, wherever they attend high school. Dive In students who apply to and are accepted by Commonwealth will receive need-based financial aid to ensure it’s affordable.

Who can join Dive In?

Dive In Commonwealth was designed to provide academic and extracurricular enrichment to students who would not normally have access to such programs for financial or other reasons. Students apply to join Dive In during the spring of their seventh-grade year. They then participate in their first six-week summer session in July and August before starting eighth grade.

What do students do?

Dive In is modeled after Commonwealth’s academic program, with core classes focused on reading, writing, and math. Students develop strong vocabulary and grammar skills, improve their reading comprehension, and grow their skills in arithmetic, pre-algebra, and algebra in six-week summer courses. Meanwhile, week-long "mini-courses" introduce them to computer programming, biology, history, and much more. Students also experience the arts, from photography to theater to sculpture, and take field trips around Boston—laughing and learning with new friends along the way.

What is the schedule?

The fourteen-month program includes six-week summer programs after the seventh- and eighth-grade years, as well as Saturday sessions throughout eighth grade. Each summer program day is roughly as long as the typical Commonwealth school day, running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. See our sample schedule for more detail.

Where is it held?

While we normally hold the program at Commonwealth School, just down the street from the Copley Green Line station, in summer 2020, we designed a hybrid program, in which students attended a mix of in-person and virtual classes. Our plans for summer 2021 will depend on public health needs and the Massachusetts guidelines for summer programs.

What does it cost?

Dive In Commonwealth is completely free for students and their families, including all classes; activities; and lunch and snacks. We are also happy to work with families if transportation poses an issue. Under non-pandemic circumstances, we provide T passes for all students.


Please contact Dive In program director Sasha Eskelund.

Learn More



Taina was extremely happy in Dive In. She became more independent, more self-confident, and that continues up to now....With Dive In, you don’t step in and then say goodbye. They check in and see how you’re doing, and we feel like we’re a part of the Commonwealth family and we will always be part of the Commonwealth family.


Meet the Directors

Sasha Eskelund

Degrees: B.A., Barnard College
M.A., New York University

Samantha Nieto Vargas

Degrees: B.F.A., Arizona State University
M.F.A., Lesley University, College of Art and Design

Mónica Schilder

Degrees: B.A., Universidad Católica del Perú
M.A., Boston University