A Bright Summer of Learning

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Learning does not end once the school year draws to a close in Valley Stream District 30, as approximately 170 students have enrolled in the district’s 2018 Summer Program from July 2 – Aug. 3 at Shaw Avenue Elementary School. The program provides support for incoming K-6 students in need of Academic Intervention Services and features 21st century learning with enrichment opportunities on a daily basis.

Through remediation practices, the program reinforces what students learned during the school year and allows for individual attention to be set on each student’s academic progress. With the guidance of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. RG France and Summer School Coordinator Erica Suarez, the program was established six years ago to provide support in the areas of English Language Arts and mathematics, while also presenting enrichment and social emotional learning activities for students.

“We offer the students a wonderful program for the summer,” said Suarez. “The students benefit from the small group instruction that is targeted to best meet their individual needs and they benefit from all of the different enrichment activities we offer for each grade level. Our goal is to keep the students engaged and motivated, so they can grow and feel confident!” 

To help students reach their highest potential, the program is broken into two different curriculums based on grade levels. Younger students engage in weekly STEAM activities to strengthen their problem solving skills and participate in small individualized groups and activities such as art, music and physical education. Each class also focuses on the Mood Meter as part of their social emotional learning component. The Mood Meter is divided into four colors – red, blue, green and yellow with each color representing a different set of feelings. The teachers track how each student is feeling every morning as a tool for discussion and a way to help students identify their feelings.
 
Older students entering grades 3-6 focus on comprehensive assessments to build on their mathematics and reading strategies. They also utilize instructional technology as incoming third- and fourth-graders participate in WeDo LEGO Robotics and eSpark, an individualized adaptive ELA and math curriculum. Incoming fifth- and sixth-graders put their critical thinking skills to the test with programs such as Achieve 3000 and Game Builders Academy. 

The district is proud to offer Game Builders Academy which is a STEM-based service which incorporates coding into the educational curriculum. Not only does it allow students to create their own video games, “it exposes students to benefits such as computational thinking, problem solving and mathematical thinking,” said Dr. France. The program also gives students the courage to face new challenges head-on and learn the value of persistence and determination. Through these various programs and summer curriculum implementations, students have the tools to enter the 2018-2019 school year with confidence.