Dawson Summer Initiative

March 16, 2020

Dear Dawson Summer Initiative Scholars and Families,
We are all hearing news daily about coronavirus and the COVID-19 flu. The health and safety of the Dawson Summer Initiative community, whether scholars or staff, is our top priority, and all decisions are made with that in mind.
Our hope and expectation at this time is for the Dawson Summer Initiative to proceed as planned. While Dawson and other area schools are discontinuing classes temporarily, we are hopeful that the region’s proactive approach will result in us all having returned to normal activities by the time DSI programs are set to begin.
CLEANING PROTOCOL: Dawson School has had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on its campus. The School maintains aggressive cleaning protocols that will be continued through the summer. We have a professional cleaning team that is experienced in health outbreaks such as these, and the extra protocols they require. Dawson also works to educate all on best practices around hygiene.
WEBSITE:  Watch theDawson Summer Initiative website for updates. You can also accessDawson School’s coronavirus information page here; it contains communication from the School to the Dawson community, and has a collection of resource links.
We will communicate with you as we make any decisions or changes that will be based on health organizations' protocol and school calendars. We are hopeful that everyone’s current best practices will result in DSI programs being able to proceed as planned.
Thank you, and please take good care. We look forward to being in touch. 
Dawson Summer Initiative (DSI) is a unique, tuition-free program that provides enriching, intellectual opportunities for high-achieving public middle school students from Boulder County and surrounding areas. Enrolled students (“scholars”) are given the knowledge, tools and flexibility to pursue real-world concepts, projects, and ideas. We strive to make DSI a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive environment where every scholar's voice is heard and respected.


During the summer, scholars have the opportunity to work with similarly motivated and like-minded peers on the beautiful Alexander Dawson School campus in Lafayette, Colorado. The thematic five-week summer session allows students from over 30 different schools the time and space to focus on one central issue, and to work with leaders in the field to develop pertinent solutions. In past summers, scholars have explored themes including Water, Epidemic, Energy, Food, Climate, the Digital Revolution, Transportation, Innovation, Making a Fresh Start, Information, and Adaptation.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY (coming soon)


Those who successfully complete the previous summer’s thematic session may then attend a two-week leadership session the following summer.


Scholars who have successfully completed one or both of the Dawson Summer Initiative (DSI) summer sessions will have access to academic advising by DSI staff all the way through high school. Reviewing course selections and school options, identifying additional enrichment opportunities, and preparing for college are resources available to scholars and their families.

Friendship Through Collaboration

One of the greatest benefits of Dawson Summer Initiative is that a cohort of students with similar interests and academic drive come together to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Many families say that friendships formed during the program last long beyond the summer months.

Thank you!

Dawson Summer Initiative is fully supported by the generosity of the Alexander Dawson Foundation.
Please contact DSI with any questions:

Call us:  303-381-0444
Email us:

Welcome to Dawson Summer Initiative (Video)

Meet the Program Director

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Lisa Michael

    Lisa Michael 

    Director of Dawson Summer Initiative
    Wesleyan University - B.A.
    Harvard Graduate School of Education - M.Ed