Orange County Public Schools announced it is “excited and encouraged” by the close to 50,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade who have chosen to attend summer enrichment classes, making their education a priority.
“Summer school enrichment this year is very different than a traditional summer school setting because it’s a lot more hands-on and it’s focused centrally on what the students need based on their independence,” said teacher Joy Hiett.
This year’s summer program is designed to provide extra resources and individualized strategies to ensure each student’s success. Classes are reviewing standards from the past year to increase students’ confidence in their abilities and learning. Teachers are also front loading (previewing) the standards students will encounter next school year. This strategy helps chunk the new knowledge into digestible bites to ensure student mastery.
“I’ve seen them be able to grow, especially in their math,” added Hiett. While she said math has been a struggle this year with them, she is encouraged by the progress and growth already taking place.
“I’ve actually enjoyed the activities Ms. Hiett has been giving us,” said Makhi Reese, incoming sixth-grade student, middle school preview. “She’s more of a teacher where she makes learning more fun,” he said. He also liked the different approaches, using an example that she wouldn’t test them on a story, but she would give them an escape game on it. “I think it’s going to help me because it tells me the stuff we already learned,” he added.
“I figured this would be a good idea to learn more so it will be easier next year,” said Brielle Brunetti, incoming sixth-grade student, middle school preview. She really enjoyed a multiplication game involving dancing monsters saying it was “really fun.” Not a typical response from a student about class, but very welcome by the teachers and OCPS.
“It’s been fun to work with friends,” added Callie Concepcion, incoming seventh-grade student, Calculus Project, Algebra 1 preview. “I think it will help me learn faster and pick up the skills faster.”
Teachers are engaging students with hands-on, collaborative learning opportunities to encourage critical and creative thinking. In addition to core subjects, students are also enjoying elective classes, such as art and physical education, too.