Local summer school programs thrive

Photo submitted Gainesville student Laine McGuigg participates in a play using shadow puppets during a summer school class at Gainesville School. Ozark County schools planned all sorts of enrichment activities and special field trips for students.

Ozark County students are basking in summer school.

Area schools report good enrollment numbers and lots of learning and special activities.

“We have had a wonderful summer school session,” said Dora Summer School Administrator Sherry Ross. “We started on May 23 and will be done on June 15.”

Ross said Dora has 120 students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade enrolled in summer school. “Our focus this summer has been on science and STEM activities. Our students have participated in many science-based activities, from bug collecting and butterfly hatching to cooking and the science behind different types of dishes,” Ross said.

She said there has also been special field trips this summer, including the Discovery Center in Springfield, swimming in Ava and the movies in West Plains. Ross said two more trips are planned including Silver Dollar City and Big Air in Branson.

At Lutie, their summer school theme is “Road Trip America,” according to Lutie Principal Kathalee Cole. She said there are 38 students enrolled, and they, too, have made field trips to the Ava pool, Discovery Center, Wonder Works and Dickerson Park Zoo.

Cole said the curriculum has four focus areas: science, math, social studies and ELA (English/language arts). “We have been very hands-on this summer, the kids are learning about their country and having fun doing it,” Cole said.

Lutie’s summer school ends June 30. 

At Gainesville, 350 students enrolled in summer school, according to Superintendent Justin Gilmore. Their summer school runs through June 24.

“In addition to enrichment activities, students enjoy ‘water Wednesdays’ where the school rents inflatables for the students to enjoy.” Gilmore said.

The superintendent said elementary students have enjoyed nutrition class with Alicia Winrod every Monday, and each Friday K-12 students travel to the pool to enjoy swimming and a picnic-style lunch.

GHS drama teacher Cindy Humbyrd said her students really enjoyed creating plays using shadow puppets. She said this week is color guard clinic for the band.

Gilmore said multiple courses are available to students in grades 7-12 including enrichment courses like artistic pursuits and outdoor adventures, as well as courses that meet graduation requirements such as fine arts, health, personal finance, etc.

Bakersfield Superintendent Amy Britt said 75 students are currently enrolled in summer school there, and field trips are held each Thursday. She said Bakersfield’s summer school runs through June 30 and is Monday-Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Britt said the elementary is doing enrichment activities in addition to remediation where it is needed. Middle school students have a rotation of vocational courses. The first week was FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) where students took a trip to the farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables that they used to make jelly and can vegetables.

“This week middle school students will be in the agriculture department where they will learn shop safety and basics of woodworking, welding, checking and changing oil and much more,” Britt said. “Next week middle school will be in the business department and take a look at all sorts of technology in addition to tech related hands-on projects.”

Britt said the summer school session will wrap up with a big field trip to Fritz’s Adventure in Branson on June 30. She added that students must have outstanding attendance to go on the final trip.

Thornfield School wrapped up their summer school in late May with special learning opportunities and field trips to Wonders of Wildlife and Wonder Works. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423