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Seasonal program helps students avoid “the summer slide”

Forty three students in the Millbrook Central School District are settling into Summer School and are enjoying the chance to learn with their usual teachers, as well as ones that they do not normally have.

Sky Fareira, Rayna Knapp, Mia DiCorcia and Oliver Dennis working with Special Education Teacher Devon Agne on their writing s

Summer school began on July 5 and is offered Monday through Thursday from 8 to 11 a.m. to all students from kindergarten up to 9th grade at MHS. The program ends August 11.

“The morning portion of it is just enough,” Samantha Bopp, Summer School coordinator explained. “They then get out and they’re active.”

The students rotate through the classrooms to get an hour each of reading, writing and math which is taught by six teachers at different grade levels who are often working with students that are older or younger than those they are used to. Occupational and physical therapy, as well as speech services  are also provided throughout the summer for students who need it.

Kerianne Trautmann doing a reading exercise with Fernando Saavedra Lopez and Quinnley Douglass.

“The younger students bring a different energy to everything and then you have to bring a different energy to match it,” Bopp said. “You have to coordinate the correct staff with the subject they’re going to teach.” 

During the summer break, students may experience a “summer slide” because they are not in a routine of constantly learning. Bopp finds the program helps students retain what they learned during the school year.  

“Without it, come September, it’s often a month of catch up for kids,” Bopp said. “This helps them continue with that learning.”

Bopp has heard from parents that their children enjoy coming to summer school with some clamoring for a full day of learning.

“They seem really happy to be here,” she said. “We have a nice range of students here.”

This is the first year Bopp, a kindergarten teacher at Elm Drive Elementary, has coordinated the program. She took on the task because she loves implementing and organizing programs in her other role as literacy coordinator for kindergarten through 5th grade students.

“I was like, ‘Let me give it a shot,’” Bopp said. “I myself like not falling out of the routine of school.”