Roseville Community Schools teacher Kaitlyn Ashbough runs with the kindergarteners during the district’s summer learning program July 25.

Roseville Community Schools teacher Kaitlyn Ashbough runs with the kindergarteners during the district’s summer learning program July 25.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Roseville Community Schools works to stop the summer slide

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 30, 2018

 Collin Tiska, left, 11, and Kyler Burden, 10, work on an assignment during their computer class July 25.

Collin Tiska, left, 11, and Kyler Burden, 10, work on an assignment during their computer class July 25.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement
Advertisement

ROSEVILLE — Steenland Elementary School, 16335 Chestnut St., is hosting the Roseville Community Schools district’s five-week summer learning program, which started in early July and will end Aug. 9. 

There were two summer learning programs in the district — at Steenland and Kment elementary schools — but Kment’s program was contingent on a School Improvement Grant, said Donovan Stec, principal of Steenland Elementary. The district no longer has the grant, which is why the program at Kment is closed. Steenland’s program is district-funded.

With Kment’s program having closed, Steenland’s program has grown to include 403 students and 21 teachers, including one special education teacher and one special education aide. 

Stec said testing has shown that students who are involved in the program either stay where they are or are ahead in learning. Students as a whole who aren’t involved in the program show about a two- to three-month summer slide, according to Stec. 

“Throughout the program, students learn all subjects, and it is a continuation from where they left off. If they were in first grade, they pick up where they left off in June and continue for five weeks,” said Stec. 

Science and social studies learning involves more of a hands-on approach than the math and language arts curricula, Stec said. The summer program allows for more hands-on teaching overall without testing to prepare for the school year. 

Each week, the students have a special assembly, such as a field day, a trip to the Roseville High School planetarium, a program with Upland Hills Farm animals, a visit with the Roseville Fire and Police departments, and a presentation from the Henry Ford Health System. 

Teachers from throughout the district are hired for the program, and some teachers who have graduated from college are hired for the summer. 

“It’s nice for them to get a foot in the door as far as the district goes, and they could come back for subbing or as an aide. When Roseville is hiring, we already have some idea of what they’re capable of and their teaching style,” said Stec.  

Stec believes the program is ultimately setting up the students for success. 

“That summer slide is a real thing. Kids, starting in September, will have lost two months of what they learned last year, which makes teachers spend two months trying to catch them back up where they began. They have five weeks where they are engaged and educated. It’s really effective,” he said. 

RCS Deputy Superintendent Mark Blaszkowski puts the program together and said that a registration process begins online in May. The district’s students have first priority. 

Blaszkowski said that planning for the program is like opening a new school every year. 

“We start planning in January. We take a look at calendars and the different type of experiences we can supply those kids,” he said. 

 “Most kids don’t have access to those outside experiences that other kids do. We try to provide them with similar experiences with the museums, like bringing them to us. The (Detroit Institute of Arts) is a great trip for our kids, and they’ll have guided tours. … It’s great for the kids to see that culture that they might not normally see,” he added. 

Blaszkowski said the DIA trip comes at no cost to the district. 

Registration for the program will be available next May.

Advertisement
Advertisement