On the last day of summer school, 8-year-old Rachel Staten, of Silverthorne, said she was excited to join her family on a vacation in New Mexico.
But not everyone was happy to see summer school end.
Jodi Hennek, coordinator for the program at Upper Blue Elementary, said one student, 7-year-old Brody Henning of Breckenridge, told her he might cry because he would miss school.
The Summit School District’s summer program for first- through fifth-graders expanded this year. For the first time, students from Breckenridge, Frisco and Upper Blue elementaries attended two days of school a week at Upper Blue Elementary for six weeks.
The 86 students at Upper Blue joined the program already in place at Silverthorne Elementary, which this summer served about 90 Silverthorne and Summit Cove children three days a week. In total, almost 200 of the district’s about 1,500 elementary students went to summer school, said district spokeswoman Julie McCluskie. Dillon Valley Elementary does a separate program where parents and students come for afternoon reading time.
The district’s summer school program specifically targets students reading below grade level, and its students were selected based on school recommendations.
“I’m grateful for the commitment of students, staff and parents,” Hennek said. “That’s what made it work.”
At Upper Blue, she said, the kids met Tuesdays and Wednesdays and were divided into six classes served by nine teachers.
“All the teachers have worked so hard,” she said. “I’m really excited that it went so well.”
The program aimed to help the kids become successful readers, writers and math students, she said. The kids also could participate Mondays and Thursdays in a grant-funded recreation program put on by Breckenridge’s Recreation Department.
Kids did crafts and physical activities outside while learning about nutrition, sportsmanship, respect and teamwork, said recreation director Mike Barney.
He said the “summer fun” program grew out of the after-school program, CATCH, a partnership among the town of Breckenridge, the school district, the Keystone Science School, the Family and Intercultural Resource Center and Summit County Youth and Family Services.
The recreation days also incorporated reading and other learning activities, Barney said.
The district’s summer school is funded by the state READ Act, which Colorado legislators passed in 2012. The act focuses on helping and intervening for students in kindergarten through third grade reading below grade level.
McCluskie said the district plans to expand the program for more students but doesn’t have specific goals yet.