Although the halls of Spring Hill Elementary School are quieter than usual, many students continue to learn in the classrooms.
About 200 students across the district attend summer school, which Superintendent Penny Fleet says is “a lot more” than a typical year. Spring Hill Summer School continues through June 17.
Pine Tree ISD has also started its summer school program with approximately 780 students. District officials were unable to provide information on the total number of students who attended the summer school this year.
Longview ISD officials said last week they did not yet know the number of students in summer school.
âThe school closed last year, and we had online classes – and we had students who participated quite well – and some families, we didn’t see as much participation, so we were concerned. by spring, âFleet said. âWe felt like we missed kids in the spring and to some extent in the fall. We felt that some of these students were in particular need of summer work.
Elementary principal Deanna Turner said the campus focuses on reading and math. She said the school used reading level, benchmark tests and response to intervention meetings to determine who would be invited to the summer school.
âIt was very structured this year because we really wanted to focus on the kids who really needed the intense intervention,â she said.
The campus also wanted teachers to have enough time for small group work and the ability to work individually with children, so that no class had more than 10 students, Turner said.
Second-grade math teacher Christy Smith said the campus wanted to make things fun for students. The theme is therefore “ABC Bootcamp”.
âOur summer school program is designed to be both educational and fun, and to spark student interest,â Smith said. âOur administration provided camouflage decor in the hallway and inspirational signs. The students were greeted on the first day by staff wearing “skill sergeant” shirts and given ID plates and camo sunglasses. “
Fleet said the mid-campus also has a theme, “Camp Panther.”
âWe said we wanted this to be the most engaging summer school we’ve done so far because we had so many more students than usual,â Fleet said.
The program is crucial in filling learning gaps and alleviating “summer slippage” – a term used to describe learning loss during summer vacation – said Smith.
Down the hall, Lupita Burrows works on reading and writing with her students.
The first graders read stories together, do independent readings, work on sight words and write responses to what they read, she said.
âI thought because of the shutdown last year we were going to have really weak kids,â Burrows said. âReally, after a month at school, they really surprised us all. They were really picking up a lot of things they learned in kindergarten. Many of them finished very strong; some of them needed a little extra help, which is what the summer school is for.
For Burrows, small groups make it easier for him to help students get the attention they need.
âI am really thankful that we can help the children,â she said. âI like spending time in a small group with them and I think it really helps them prepare for year two. “