Nearly 1,500 students expected to participate in Merced summer school

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comMay 22, 2014 

Mathematics and language arts are the focal points for the Merced City School District’s five-week summer program.

Students currently in second- through seventh-grades have been invited to apply for the summer programs to be offered at Burbank and Sheehy elementary schools and Tenaya Middle School.

This is the second year for the summer school program. Open to all district students, including English learners, the program can accommodate about 1,500.

Elena Castro, the district’s director of curriculum and categorical compliance, said the summer program will run June 16 through July 18. The program has staggered hours to improve student transportation by providing more flexible bus schedules.

Burbank students will attend classes between 8:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Sheehy pupils will be in class from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Tenaya students will go from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brunch will be served at each school.

Castro said the goal is to increase students’ fluency, or proficiency, in language arts and math skills. Each student will use a district-issued computer device. Common Core-inspired lessons will be incorporated into daily activities.

Castro said teachers will have more flexibility with how they teach subjects than during the regular school year, and students will be allowed more time to master concepts taught in the class.

“We try to make it fun,” Castro said. “There are no restrictions; it is open to kids in need academically first.”

Castro and Paula Heupel, director of curriculum and staff development, came up with the summer program. Aaron Alexander and Diane Shaw will be co-principals at Burbank; Juanita Pedrozo and Josy Pulido will be co-principals at Sheehy; and Dawn Walker and Rick Her are Tenaya co-principals.

Up to 48 teachers could be involved with the program. Castro and Heupel are working on building classes and firming up the transportation schedule.

Castro said students not initially chosen for the summer school are encouraged to go on a waiting list and could be selected if the first applicants don’t show up for classes.

Parents can contact the schools involved in the program for more information on classes and availability: Burbank, (209) 385-6674; Sheehy, (209) 385-6676, Tenaya, (209) 385-6687.

Sun-Star staff writer Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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