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Teachers bring Panther Camp experience to summer school

St. Croix Central Summer School's nature study class used items from nature to create Father's Day presents Thursday, June 13. Pictured, Adella Johnson, colors a rock as a part of the class's project titled "Our Dads Rock."1 / 3
Macie Segebrecht (left) and Abbie Webber use their thumbs to paint leaves on their flower pictures, created Thursday, June 13, at St. Croix Central Middle School as a part of the SCC summer school program.2 / 3
The first- and second-graders in St. Croix Central's "Track and Field" summer school class played Dodgeball on Thursday, June 13. Pictured Nicholas Quarne throws a ball at another player.3 / 3

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.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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