Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
A new kind of summer school
Mt. Pleasant schools are committed to making summer school a positive experience
May. 23, 2022 12:15 am
MT PLEASANT — The days of remedial students sitting in stifling hot classrooms and looking out the window dreaming of swimming pools as summer passes them by have gone to the wayside.
Summer school in Mt. Pleasant is no longer meant to merely help students lagging behind.
“We have a really good time in summer school,” Lincoln Elementary Principal Lori LaFrenz said.
A large net is cast to invite students to this new kind of summer school.
Students who are behind standards, need extra support, have shown significant regression over previous summer months, or benefit socially/emotionally from summer school support are all invited.
Transportation is provided for students in town and in the country as well as a sack lunch to make summer school as accessible to those who need it most.
Currently, 152 students have already signed up for the 2022 summer school session.
“Some students have experienced school being really hard, but that right fit is like a breath of fresh air,” LaFrenz said of the small group philosophies executed over the summer months.
Students are assigned to smaller groups with similar skill needs for both reading and math lessons.
Lessons are based around more than just reading and math, though.
Summer school now includes partnerships with the Henry County Nature Center and Iowa State Extension office to provide STEM activities.
Kids are given the opportunities to explore, discover, and get moving as they learn.
“They do really fun hands on stuff,” 4H County Youth Coordinator Erin Heaton from Henry County Iowa State Extension Office said.
Summer school is providing an opportunity to better engage different learning styles and encourage creative thinking skills.
“Summer school is a good thing,” She said.
The schools will be using 4H curriculum that pairs hands on stem activities with literacy skills, and art.
LaFrenz favorite part of summer school recently was watching the kids learn and execute robotic programing with the Iowa State Extension Office curriculum.
In summer school, LaFrenz says that she is given the opportunity to see how the information clicks in a child’s brain and the light bulb turns out.
“Something about it is just magic,” LaFrenz said.
Even if students are not eligible to participate in summer school, the Iowa State Extension office would like to invite elementary students to join summer programming at their libraries.
Salem, Winfield, and New London libraries will have three different dates and topics throughout the summer to enrich children’s summer.
Flyers were sent home with students this past week with more information for the programming.
Interested families can also reach out to the Henry County Iowa State Extension off for additional information.