A state grant provided funds for summer school, free enrichment classes at the elementary level

Lake Oswego School District tackles unfinished learning This week at River Grove and Oak Creek elementary schools, students learned about the Mars rover, satellites and all things outer space while practicing their math skills and reading comprehension.

It was part of an unprecedented stint of elementary summer school that kicked off last week at the Lake Oswego School District.

Thanks to funding from the state's Summer Enrichment Program Grant, the district was able to offer academic support to first through fifth graders throughout the district. Summer school is conducted at River Grove and Oak Creek and spans three weeks.

Brittanie Bates serves as the principal of elementary summer school. During the school year she's a response-to-intervention coordinator at Westridge Elementary School.

Data from teachers and iReady assessments allowed the district to understand some of the effects remote learning had on its youngest learners.

Bates said some students who were invited to attend summer school had "unfinished learning" while others needed more practice being in a school setting. Summer school days are longer than hybrid days were last school year, allowing students to build their learning stamina.

"It's for students who could benefit from about 15 more days of school," she said.

Students were placed in classes based on what area of learning they needed help in.

One class was dedicated to unfinished learning in geometry, another to fractions.

"A lot of kids missed geometry due to COVID just because it falls at the end of the year, in the spring," Bates said.

Bates said fifth graders had been doing a lot of reading comprehension. In line with the school's theme this week, the fifth graders have been reading about space. They also built their own satellites out of found objects like paper plates or old DVDs.

Bates described education as a trajectory, not a moment in time. So the students in summer school are getting the opportunity to move further along their learning trajectory.

"We are capturing some data from the students right now, and we'll share that with their teachers so that they can use that information to move education forward in the fall," she said.

But summer school isn't the only way students can advance their learning. When summer school classes at Oak Creek and River Grove break for the day, Lake Oswego Community School begins.

Lake Oswego Community School is offering summer enrichment classes at little to no cost, thanks to a state grant.

Jackie Clee currently heads up the Community School program. Unlike elementary summer school, this program takes place every year.

The classes are taught by community vendors. This year's lineup includes Play Fit Fun, Lake Cho Basketball Camp, One River Lake Oswego and Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation.

Clee said this year's community school is more vibrant than previous years — with more community vendors and more kids attending.

Community School spans five weeks of the summer and kids can do everything from learning a new language and practicing their basketball skills to trying improv and participating in STEM projects.

Bates said that between summer school and enrichment classes, each building is seeing about 260 students a day.

Summer school for middle and high school grades currently is taking place at Lakeridge Middle School. LOSD Executive Director of Communications Mary Kay Larson said about 160 secondary students are attending summer learning.

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