It’s so much fun, sometimes kids (and teachers) forget it’s still school.
Both inside and outside, the Oregon School District’s Summer School has offered students dozens of educational opportunities in its session, which runs July 8 through Aug. 2.
Held mainly at Oregon High School, four 60-minute courses are available to students each day, with breakfast and lunch offered during the four-week program. A total of 120 classes are offered (some with multiple sections), including traditional courses like math, language arts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), but also ones that provide lots of chances for physical activity, like “Moving and grooving” for K-2 students. Students can let their creative sides out, with everything from glitter art to cup stacking.
Some fun new courses this year included “Kids in the Kitchen,” “Harry Potter” and “Pancakes and Games around the World.” There were also some new “traditional” courses, such as “Say Yes” classes to encourage K-6 students’ interest in reading, writing and math.
OSD deputy superintendent Leslie Bergstrom said the district looks to provide a variety of courses during the summer to help meet the needs and interests of all students and support their mindset to be “lifelong learners.”
“We want to provide summer experiences that cultivate positivity and a joyful environment,” she wrote in an email to the Observer. “Summer school is another opportunity to grow the love of learning.”
The “Say Yes to Reading” class, for example, nurtures reader identity and love of reading, Bergstrom said.
“Reading skills are vital to being a lifelong learner, and while we want learners to build all of the necessary reading skills, we also want them to truly enjoy the process,” she said.
Brad Ashmore and Darci Jarstad-Krueger serve as co-administrators for the program. In an email to the Observer, they said getting kids to enjoy learning makes them more likely to pursue it on their own and set their own goals.
“Creativity and outside the box thinking is encouraged and our emphasis is on creating engaging and enjoyable learning experiences for students that are unique and individualized,” they wrote.
One of the side benefits for students is getting to build deeper relationships with teachers, or getting to know staff members they might otherwise not get the chance to meet. OHS teacher Ryan Stace said the chance to meet students in the younger grade levels who have in interest in his classes has been “very beneficial” when they get to high school.
“I tend to see kids that I had in summer school in a yearlong class when they get to OHS, and it certainly helps that we already know each other,” he said.