Most children don’t look forward to summer school, but learning over vacation is refreshing for these kids who are attending a summer program combining remedial instruction with fun and recreation.
Summer Campus is a program sponsored at 12 locations in District 833 in Minnesota. The four week course combines remedial and preparatory instruction with fun, and is for students in grades K-7.
Students learn to refresh their brains with math, reading, and science. They also re-engage their brains, avoiding the summer slide of vacation. “I describe it as a booster shot for students just before the school year starts,” said Brian Boothe, District 833 coordinator of integrated professional development.
Summer Campus is low key, and helps to ease students back into learning. .
“It doesn’t have the same kind of pressure as a full school day,” Boothe said.
In March, the district mailed invitations to students whose test scores indicated that they might benefit from extra help with reading, writing and math. Teachers can also recommend students for Summer Campus. The curriculum at the middle schools can also include science.
A recent Summer Campus session at Crestview Elementary School began with breakfast, followed by a teacher-supervised playtime in the gymnasium, where students shot hoops, bounced rubber balls and ran around.
Six-year-old Nicolas Boyd literally bounced off the walls. He’ll start first grade in the fall, so meeting other classmates and getting a taste of what lies ahead should help make his first day of school less disorienting.
“This is a safe environment for them and they enjoy being here,” Crestview second-grade teacher and site supervisor Stacie Brown said. “The smaller classes mean more individualized attention from teachers. It’s more hands-on.
Teachers benefit as well, since those who participate in the Summer Campus program meet some of the kids they will teach in the fall. Reid Tschumperlin, who teaches fifth grade at Crestview Elementary, has taught at Summer Campus for the past several years.