Briarwood Elementary School and Enterprise High School have been welcoming students to class in Warren Woods Public Schools this summer.

Briarwood Elementary School and Enterprise High School have been welcoming students to class in Warren Woods Public Schools this summer.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Learning continues in WWPS summer school programs

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published July 27, 2022


WARREN — Even though the calendar reads July, Briarwood Elementary School and Enterprise High School have been welcoming students to class in Warren Woods Public Schools this summer.

That’s because the district is offering a number of summer school programs for district students. There are no tuition costs to attend, and free breakfast and lunch are offered. Summer school runs Monday through Thursday from July 11 through Aug. 11, and busing is available for some students, depending on their distance from the school.

Warren Woods Tower and Enterprise high school students behind on their credits are enrolled in various credit-recovery classes. U.S. history, algebra, chemistry/physics and English are among the programs offered. The classes are held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students can take a maximum of two classes.

“A lot of that comes down to student requests and staff. In the spring, we send out surveys. Students can sign up for courses they want. We build our schedule based on that,” said Summer School Secondary Coordinator Scott Keen, who is also the Pinewood Elementary School principal. “They take two-hour accelerated courses. They are doing the courses they would do in high school. It’s a small group of students, so they are able to move a little faster.”

There are nine classroom teachers this summer, plus kitchen workers, paraprofessionals and social workers. There are 142 students in total in the high school program. Some classes are in person, while others are virtual. Some students are doing both in-person and online courses. Any class offered in person was not offered online. Online classes were offered if the district was unable to offer the class in person. The virtual classes are run through a third-party source.

According to Keen, some summer school students “are severely behind.” One reason they lost credits was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some weren’t coming to school, or their work wasn’t completed,” Keen said, adding that family issues at home also interrupted the learning process. “I’m very happy to see them come in here and try to get back on track. They’re behaving really well, and they’re respectful. They’re doing a pretty good job at being successful in order to graduate.”

The district usually has summer school classes for middle school students, but because not enough students registered, the courses were not offered this year.

Over at Briarwood Elementary School, the hallways and classrooms are bustling with about 220 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, learning. The classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For preschoolers entering kindergarten, the district is offering the KinderConnect programs. Incoming first graders are in the First Fundamentals program. Incoming first through sixth graders in the Title One program are strengthening their literacy and math skills through various activities. The STEM literacy camp welcomed incoming second, third and fourth graders this summer.

The students’ school year teachers recommended them for summer school. Sometimes, parents whose children don’t need any additional help enroll their children.

“Toward the end of the school year, we meet with our staff and then make recommendations,” said Don Sikora, elementary summer learning opportunities coordinator and Warren Woods Middle School principal. “The teachers are doing a phenomenal job serving the students as best they can.”

Sikora said there are 10 Title One classrooms, two KinderConnect classes and two First Fundamental classes. Outdoor recess is part of the day.

“They’re excited to be here,” Sikora said of the students. “They look forward to it. You see the kids giving their teachers hugs. It’s not a full day, but it’s long enough to get some full instruction.”

Other elementary school classes are in session, as well. For instance, the English Language Learners students are receiving additional support this summer. In addition, a resource room teacher is on-site, there is a five-week summer program for cognitively impaired students, and speech therapy and occupational therapy are available.