GIPS offering summer opportunities for students
Press Release: Grand Island Public Schools will offer many virtual summer learning opportunities, many of which are open to all students and began Monday, June 1. The virtual summer school opportunities will differ from eLearning and will include more hands-on activities students can participate in at home.
Opportunities for elementary students include: eLearning POWER Camp (PK-5), Every Day a Reader Camp (K-3), extended school year and Title I Summer School (available for Dodge, Howard, Jefferson, Knickrehm, Lincoln, Wasmer, Starr and West Lawn students).
Opportunities for middle and high school include: Thriving Minds Summer offerings (6-12), Barr, Westridge and Walnut Summer Academies, GEAR UP Pre-Algebra Virtual Summer Bridge Camp, GISH Summer School and extended school year.
Title I summer school, the middle school Summer Academies and Extended School Year opportunities are available by invite only.
GEAR UP will also be providing four more opportunities, including: Transition Camp for incoming freshman students, Overcoming Series on the GEAR UP YouTube channel and Google Classroom, Engage 2020 for interactive activities, and “You Are Awesome Sauce!” to help empower and encourage students.
Whitney Flower, a coordinator for POWER Camp, said PK-5 students will be able to participate in enrichment activities that interest them.
“Our POWER Camp staff has been working hard on lessons that are engaging using the materials most people have around the house,” Flower said. “In addition to creating projects, students will get to explore nutrition, perform and do physical activity.”
Weekly Zoom sessions will be offered so students can share what they are learning and doing with teachers and other students across the district.
Brittney Bills, GIPS Curriculum Coordinator, said the Every Day a Reader Camp is available for all K-3 students.
“These early years are so critical in reading development,” Bills said. “The research has shown students who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. Additionally, students on average lose about a month's worth of learning over the summer. We knew all of our K-3 students would benefit from summer reading opportunities that would reinforce the skills they have acquired this school year so they can be prepared for the next grade level in the fall.”
The Every Day a Reader Camp will utilize the Amplify reading program, which is a game-like computer-based program. One of the games in the program is a letter sound correspondence game, Bills said. In the game, little goblins produce a sound and the student has to identify the corresponding letter on pieces of toast. The student then “feeds” the matching letter toast to the sound the goblin said.
Each middle school’s summer academy offers opportunities for the limited number of students invited to stay engaged throughout the summer. Students qualified via MAP scores, teacher recommendation and virtual engagement. The three middle school academies will focus on math and language arts, along with learning about college and career readiness.
Thriving Minds, available for grades 6-12, is a project-based approach to virtual summer learning with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Toni Palmer, GIPS Chief of Leadership and Learning, said students in Thriving Minds will have the opportunity to engage in challenges that can result in a monetary award and possibly state, regional or national recognition. The coordinators of Thriving Minds are Jolyne Ziglar and Taylor Graves.
“Weekly challenges will be presented throughout June and July to tap into a variety of interests,” Palmer said. “Students will have support available, but also the ability to work at their own pace and maximize their creativity through fun, engaging activities.”