School districts offer students summer learning

Students involved in the 2021 Saugus Union School District STEAM Summer Camp participate in activities that administrators say are fun ways to reengage them with on-campus learning. Photo courtesy of SUSD.

School is out and many children can almost see the fun, relaxation and cool treats they’ll have – but that might not be the case for some students lamenting summer school.  

However, summer school and other programs will be an opportunity to continue learning while providing students with some fun activities and experiences, according to Santa Clarita Valley elementary school district staff.   

Each elementary district’s summer camps and programs started early or mid-June.  

Castaic sets up its summer fun  

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Kim Tredick said the Castaic Union School District will host a number of activities such as its science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics camp for third and fourth graders, a Gifted and Talented Education camp, a special-education program, a J2K program for young children who are about to enter kindergarten, and an intervention program for students in kindergarten through seventh grade.   

The Castaic district is hosting its summer programs at Northlake Hills Elementary. Some programs will run for four weeks while others will be shorter.  

“Kids who attend our J2K better transition into school,” Tredick said.   

It’s not just the students who attend J2K as students, but all of the students who attend summer programs benefit from the social interactions with their peers and learn in more creative and immersive ways while practicing their English or mathematics in a more relaxed environment, Tredick said.   

Tredick said she’s excited for students to participate in the STEAM camp because it’s going to be “messy, creative, and students will build projects together.”   

The STEAM camp will also focus on aerospace with guest speakers in that industry. Students will also work building a type of rocket, Tredick said.  

Newhall district offers extended learning opportunities  

Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Dee Jamison said two schools in the Newhall School District would be hosting a LEAP for Learning two-week summer opportunity for their students.   

McGrath Elementary School will also provide summer programming for its students, too, she added.   

The Language Enrichment through Arts-Integration Program, LEAP, for Learning will run July 11 to July 22 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. for students entering first through sixth grades with English language development as their primary need, according to Jamison.  

In the afternoon, the RISE program, which provides after-school programming during the school year, will provide additional activities for students as part of the governor’s expanded learning program, which has as its goal a nine-hour day on campus, Jamison said.   

Katrina Stroh, the program administrator at Newhall Elementary, said the district has always offered summer programming to its students. In previous years, the Newhall district hosted STEAM and math camps, but also focuses on language arts because students need it to develop their English and reading skills.  

According to Stroh, there are several reasons why the Newhall district hosts its summer programs, which help students strengthen understanding of the learning material and building on relationships between students and teachers.  

Saugus prepares three sites for summer learning  

Edwin Clement, assistant superintendent of education services for the Saugus Union School District, said they are preparing similar programming to last year, and included a STEAM camp, language arts classes, art and dance, and programming for special education students.   

The Saugus district is hosting its summer programming at Rio Vista Elementary School, Emblem Academy and North Park Elementary School. Clement said the district will be mixing its students with special education students.  

The STEAM camp will provide students with unique ways of learning, like offering students a chance to engineer using Lego robotics, Clement added. The camps will run for four weeks from 9 a.m. to noon.  

“Each school site had a number of tickets to enroll students and this was available to all schools,” Clement said. “The larger piece of this is that students that attended didn’t have what we call the ‘summer slide.’”  

Special education students legally have extended learning opportunities and some may qualify for summer learning if it’s established in their individual education program, according to Clement.   

According to Clement, sometimes students who don’t work on their math or English skills over the summer might come back to school the following term and show signs of regression. That’s the key to summer classes or camps: to help students maintain or further their skills so they can come back the following school term and be at standard level or excel.   

Sulphur Springs kicks off enrichment for students  

Jezelle Fullwood, assistant superintendent for educational services at Sulphur Springs Union School District, said their summer programming started early this month.   

The district offered three summer programs for students, including enrichment at Canyon Springs Community Elementary School, intervention at Valley View Elementary School and expanded learning opportunities for special education students.   

In addition, the Sulphur Springs district offered packets based on curriculum corresponding to a student’s grade level. The packet could be completed online or at home for all students.  

According to Fullwood, the programs will be for four weeks and offer opportunities for students to prepare ahead of the school term or strengthen their skills in English and math. There will also be opportunities for students to enjoy art classes and activities focusing on mindfulness and emotional health.  

“We are always trying to prevent ‘summer slide,’” Fullwood said. “We are happy to offer diverse programs to our students and offer as much opportunities for learning and intervention as we can.” 

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