Xaylen Brooks and Taseen Kabir, both 5, learn how to spell “boat” by first drawing it and then sounding each letter out in Carmella Rudd’s summer school class at Mound Park Upper Elementary School in Fitzgerald Public Schools.

Xaylen Brooks and Taseen Kabir, both 5, learn how to spell “boat” by first drawing it and then sounding each letter out in Carmella Rudd’s summer school class at Mound Park Upper Elementary School in Fitzgerald Public Schools.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Summer school students shore up their studies

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published August 9, 2019

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WARREN — Nearly 150 Fitzgerald Public Schools elementary and middle school students worked hard on their academics this July and August in summer school.

Under the leadership of Mound Park Upper Elementary School Principal Amy Nelson, district officials offered four separate programs at the school. Classes were held Monday through Thursday mornings. Some programs began July 8, and some began July 15. The programs ended Aug. 8.

“It’s for students we believe would benefit from enrichment through the summer,” Nelson said. “They are selected and recommended by their teachers from the previous school year. We did some pre-assessments when we started, and we’ll do some post-assessments as well.”

That data will be shared with the students’ new teachers.

Students preparing to enter kindergarten next month got a head start by participating in the KinderConnect summer classes.

“It really focused on their early literacy, math skills, and helped them prepare socially for the expectation of kindergarten,” Nelson said. “They learned to sit with classmates, walked in line and worked in small group settings.”

Students entering first grade benefited from the First Fundamentals program, where they worked on their literacy and math skills. The school’s Science and Literacy Camp was for students entering second, third and fourth grades.

“The text was all based on science, so students were making the connection through science,” Nelson said. “It’s really building our students’ capacity for reading non-fiction text and building their comprehension with science.”

One project the older students really enjoyed was challenging each other to determine who could build the tallest tower using index cards and masking tape. From there, the students placed plastic frog models on them and hoped the toys would not topple the towers.

The middle school program Math Mindsets primarily focused on mathematics. One tool that teachers used was Math Talks, a tool designed to help students have conversations about math and really think through the problems.

According to Nelson, the programs were sponsored through the Macomb Intermediate School District.

Mound Park incoming fifth grade student Mahdi Chowdhury said his favorite parts of summer school were going out for recess, playing on the swings and doing group reading activities.

“We sometimes do reading,” he said. “We played a game called Sorry. We do silent reading and somebody has to watch you read. We’re learning from summer camp.”

Westview Elementary School students Kaylee Browning and Sariah Dean, who both will be in third grade this upcoming school year, hung out together a lot with a few other students during summer school.

“I like to do science, and I like to go out for breaks,” Browning said. “We’re learning a lot. We learned about frogs. We learned about flowers.”

Dean, who also likes science, believes she will perform better in school this year because of all she learned in summer school.

“Because I saw stuff I never learned,” she said.

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