Story provided by Stillwater Public Schools
Stillwater Public Schools will significantly expand its programs for students this summer. Due to disruptions of the school year as a result of the ongoing pandemic, the theme for this year is “Bridge the Gap.”
“This was an unusual year to say the least,” says SPS Superintendent Marc Moore. “We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to address the learning needs of our students and to make sure everyone is receiving the academic support they need going into the fall.” SPS is offering more summer programming than ever before according to Moore.
Typically, limitations on how funds can be spent mean SPS is limited in who can attend summer school, but thanks to CARES Act funding, the district is able to open up more spaces at these programs. “Most years, around 200 students participate in the elementary offerings, but this year we anticipate serving 650 children through these programs,” says Summer Academy Elementary Administrator Arryn Small. Instead of one elementary site as in the past, the district will be hosting Summer Academies at three schools.
Those same CARES Act funds will assist the district in serving a larger number of students participating in secondary summer programs as well.
Enrollment will be open to all SPS students, but the district will prioritize placement for those who could benefit most from the Summer Academies.
“With our focus on bridging the gap this year,” said Director of Summer Academy Programs Trent J. Swanson, “we’re looking at who most needs access to these summer programs. Over the past few weeks secondary school staff has been identifying students with educational needs.” Beginning on March 30, SMS and SJHS administrators and staff will begin contacting the families of identified students with the opportunity to sign their students up for the Summer Academy.
Calls to elementary student families will begin on April 16. “We’re in the process of identifying those elementary students that might benefit from the summer programs through assessments over the next couple weeks,” says Small. “Then we’ll go through our list as well, working to make sure that the students that are most in need of academic support have the opportunity to receive that over the summer.”
If additional student enrollment beyond these identified students exceeds available spaces, a waiting list will be created, and SPS will try to accommodate those requests.
Programming offered by SPS staff will include:
- Elementary Math and Reading Program
- SMS and SJHS Summer Academies
- English Language Learner offerings
- Extended School Year Program for Special Education students
- 2 day Indian Education Camps
- Credit Recovery session for 9th-12th grade students
- Driver’s Education
Students participating in summer programs will have easy access to free onsite meals, with the district providing breakfast and lunch for children from June 1 through July 24. The current plan calls for hot meals to be served at Will Rogers with grab and go options at sites hosting summer school programming. Meal service will not be limited to program participants; any child in Stillwater will be able to receive a meal at these locations.
Transportation will be provided by the district to and from the programs for any participating student, and all programs are free to participants with the exception of the $275 Driver’s Education course.
Enrollment for SPS’s summer programs begins Monday, April 5. To learn more about the offerings and to enroll, families may visit sps.blue/summeracademy.