Teachers bring Panther Camp experience to summer school


The St. Croix Central School District had planned to hold its 2013 elementary summer school program at the middle school before the April 30 fire closed the elementary school building. This was due to planned upgrades to the school, said summer school director Nic Haug.

So far, the middle school location has been working out very well, Haug said.

"A lot of our teachers were already thinking of different ways of teaching," Haug said. "They were already in the mindset of 'this is what we do with the stuff we have.'"

He said the teachers' experience with "Panther Camp" (Rolling Ridges Girl Scout Camp, where SCC Elementary held classes from May 6 through the end of the 2012-13 school year), had the teachers prepared to operate without some of the supplies they had originally planned to bring from the elementary school, before the fire damaged the building and much of the materials.

Missing materials has not been a problem either, Haug said.

"Due to the generosity of everyone that was donating...," he said, "we've gotten to utilize some of those things as well, which did make our transition easier.

St. Croix Central has approximately 350 students enrolled in summer school right now. The elementary and middle school summer school programs hold academic classes in the mornings and activity-based classes in the afternoons.

Teachers focus on mathematics and reading in the academic sessions, getting students who need remedial work up-to-speed for the next school year, as well as challenging students who want to learn more.

Each week the elementary students can participate in two of six afternoon activity-based classes. Haug said the activity-based classes change each week, although some activities are repeated and others are not.

Some activities include a new Zumbatomics class, art, ball games (such as soccer and dodgeball), as well as sidewalk fun and water fun.

Middle school activity offerings include brain games, capture the flag, bridge building, nature study, dodgeball and a new conditioning and training class to prepare them for athletics in high school. The middle school has two activity options per week.

The summer school program serves students entering kindergarten through ninth grade.

The current (first) session of SCC summer school runs June 10-12, 17-20 and 24-27. The second session will run Aug. 12-15 and Aug. 19-22.