Summer school gets makeover, hopes for high attendance

Jameson Morgan, Reporter

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 No longer will summer school will be credit remediation and drudgery. A whole new facelift has been provided with new classes this summer. This rebranding has included new T-Shirts and an infusion of positive energy.

    Mr. Seeley, the director of summer learning, along with Mrs. Rennie, FACE teacher at the D.C. Everest Middle School, wants to create an atmosphere where people want to come to school to learn.

    “Having kids want to come to summer school is our biggest priority,” said Seeley.

  The first part of the reorganization was the unification of the summer learning programs. Previously, summer school was organized by the school it was at. The middle school would direct middle school programs, high school would direct high school programs and so on.

   After creating a unified system, the biggest priority was creating more opportunities at the high school. In the past, the priority had been on credit recovery and remedial work.

“Our goal had been to bring more to the equation, and we focused on that,” said Seeley.

  The athletic department had continued the outstanding lifting and running programs, as they had done so well in years past. Additionally, the Oral History Project would be continued.

  The committee consulted teachers about what classes they wanted to teach during the summer, what they were passionate about.

  Diving into the more creative, last years teachers Mr. Cepress and Mrs. Clay offered a class in journaling. They had the idea of bringing their respective expertise together. While it didn’t run, it did make the course offering more creative.

   From that class, Mr. Seely and Mrs. Rennie learned that they needed to push and promote, and inform students of the opportunities they had. If students know about the class, they are more inclined to take it.

  Different changes include completely online registration, no paper. Students will register themselves on Infinite Campus and find the course registration online This will simplify the process and eliminate paper filings.

  The final push was to get students in the courses already offered, as well as the new ones.

  “We are excited because we are moving in the right direction. Teachers are seeing that there is an interest in students to do work academically in the summertime,” said Seeley.

  Last year theme showcased the capabilities of Everest Summer Learning and was apparently named Time To Shine.

  He believed that this change was in part because Summer Learning is called Summer Learning, not Summer School- it is a time to shine and grow.

  That allowed the program to become more enveloping, including Hmong Culture camp, the transition to the high school, and the band camps are all a part of summer learning this past year.

  Seeley says of the program “it has been a very massive, yet fulfilling undertaking.”

  Mr. Seeley and Mrs. Rennie recently shared their finding with the school board.

  One number that stands out is the 5.8 million summer learning minutes from the year prior (2017), and then it was increased to 7.2 million this last year (2018).

  A class that is offered for the first time is History Your Way. History Your Way would take over for Oral History Project, while the Oral History Project is still being offered. But in the new class, Mr. Olstad seeks to empower students to pursue creative avenues such as scholarship writing, AP summer homework, and other academic-focused materials. Mr. Olstad would be the advisor, propelling students to wherever their academic imagination may propel them.

  “We are here for you. Whatever you want to do, we are here to help you. Whether that be a science experiment or essay writing contest,” said Mr. Olstad.

  The student would determine their learning targets and objectives, and how they would meet those targets. Independent learning would be the focus of the class.

  The class is targeted for 8-12th graders, who don’t have many elective based offerings. With the removal of OHP, they sought to create a program that would take over.

  Class will run from 12-4 Monday through Thursday. The students will get credit for 40 hours of participation. The class will have 80 hours of available time during the summer.

  It will be a lot of workshop time. Students will present their ideas to the teacher and then will go out into the community and implement them.

  One potential avenue of development would be in student government, where the student would do something similar to Mr. Bergstrom offers in his Actions Civics classes.

  It would be up to the individual to determine what they want to do, and use the resources in the class as a sounding board. They seek to give the maximum possible freedom while still being educational.

  If they found interest, it is possible that community members and other people of interest could get involved. But first, students would have to determine that their interest is.

  “So often we set goals and want to do things, but we haven’t reached out to the people to make that happen,” said Mr. Olstad.

  This class hopes to get motivated students the tools they need and human resources things to complete these projects.

  One aspect of emphasis would be on the practical application of those skills. If students were to write scholarships, for example, they would both be benefitted by the skills learned and the money gained from that scholarship.   

  More information can be found at :