Summer Programs Help Students Start the Year Strong – September 24, 2021
The Pendleton School District had several programs during Summer 2021 that were focused on helping students start the 21-22 school year. These programs kept students connected, introduced them to their new schools and helped them catch up on credits.
Kindergarten & First Grade Jumpstart
Funded by Title 1, this program gave the youngest incoming learners a “jumpstart” on the coming school year, allowing them time in a small group to become familiar with the school setting, make connections with staff and start learning some basics with a focus on reading.
For two weeks during August, 72 students participated in three kindergarten and three first grade programs at PELC, Sherwood and Washington. Students reviewed breakfast and lunch routines, learned Conscious Discipline, had reading and math rotations, art and recess.
All of the following programs were funded through the Oregon Department of Education K-8 Summer Enrichment funding or the High School Academic Support funding.
6th Grade Jumpstart
About 40 incoming sixth graders had the opportunity to experience Sunridge Middle School for a week in August to become familiar with their new school. The students enjoyed interactive activities in woodshop, science and gym, plus a field trip to Pendleton’s Underground Tours.
According to Dave Williams, SMS Principal, the program was open to all incoming sixth graders, but it targeted last year’s fifth graders who could use a little more support with the transition to middle school. “We were excited to offer students this advantage to feel confident in the building, meet some teachers and get to know the middle school routine before their first day of school,” Williams said.
K-7 Summer Counseling Program
The program was for students who have social emotional learning needs and the need for connection to school staff over the summer. The program was offered in-person and virtually in June, July and August at five schools for six hours per week.
Pendleton High School Summer Adventure Jumpstart
This was the first year for this program, with the intention to provide students the chance to connect with PHS staff, create friendships, earn partial credits for graduation requirements and experience things they have never experienced. The program consisted of three field trips – Skamania Lodge Zipline with ziplines and sky bridges, Wallowa Lake where they rode the tram, hiked and learned about geology and Anthony Lakes, including hiking, swimming and kayaking.
A total of 19 eighth and ninth graders participated, with some earning PE credit. One student said, “I learned to speak up more and learned new things. That was also the fun part, learning new things.”
PHS Counselor Karen Demianew said being a part of this adventure learning experience was a highlight of her summer. The district plans to continue the program.
PHS Credit Compacting Program with Classroom Teachers
During the 20-21 school year, much of the year was spent in Comprehensive Distance Learning, a model that we know is not ideal for most students. Matt Yoshioka, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, said to address the high number of students who failed a class during CDL, PHS offered a five-day, intensive program right after the last day of school in June. Classroom teachers worked with more than 70 high school students, primarily freshmen, to bring their grades up and pass the class.
“We really didn’t know how many students would take advantage of this, but were surprised how many participated and were pleased with the more than 70 credits they earned,” Yoshioka said.
PHS/Hawthorne Summer Credit Retrieval Lab
The district has always had this program, which offers three weeks of in-person credit work, with morning and afternoon sessions. Students can work at their own pace, with encouragement from staff, and the flexibility allows them to still have a summer job. A total of 74 students earned more than 62 credits during this summer’s program.