This summer, students at Warren Consolidated Schools have opportunities to dive into immersive programming to engage their senses, preview the district’s unique offerings, or just learn how to have an active, healthy lifestyle with friends.
By leveraging federal funding and the enthusiasm and talents of district teachers, Warren Consolidated Schools is providing summertime in-person and virtual programs at no cost to district families, says Chief Academic Officer John Bernia.
“These summer programs are part of our district reengagement plans to fully open the district in the fall after pandemic disruptions,” Bernia says. “We’re all delighted and excited and ready to see kids back in our buildings.”
Cool stuff kids want to do
From elementary to high school, students can engage in extended learning opportunities that might have them designing, building and launching rockets, singing and dancing like pioneers at play parties or adopting a culture of contagious kindness. Kids can write screenplays and poetry, dive into the history of Michigan or throw a clay project on a pottery wheel.
Older students can talk about their future plans and gain support in a class called “I Graduated, Now What?” that will take a deep dive into college admissions timelines, finances and what to expect from campus life. Or, they can take a peek at alternative energies and sustainability and learn how they can impact energy efficiency. Kids who like the idea of home baking can don an apron and learn to bake cookies, pies and cakes.
Some of these classes are virtual, but most are in-person. An adjusted transportation route will even pick up kids at their neighborhood schools and bus them to their class site, Bernia says.
This is just a brief selection of summer extended learning opportunities, but each program is designed to engage students in academic or extracurricular activities for the fun of it. Sure, the result may be reduced “summer slide” and increased productivity in the fall, but the backstory involves a desire to build important student-teacher connections, says Bernia.
After extended classroom disruptions, teachers want to reconnect with students as much as students want to be back in the classroom, and participating teachers expressed enthusiasm about sharing their own skills and interests with students over the summer.
“For kids in the classroom, it’s about the environment that opens them up to take in whatever lessons there are to be learned,” Bernia explains. “If a student knows the teacher likes them and wants them to learn, there is a better chance of that learning happening and that’s how kids discover what they are passionate about. That student-teacher connection helps them feel more comfortable and confident in school, and when that happens, they do better 100% of the time.”
Preview unique district offerings
Warren Consolidated Schools is known for its breadth of programming, but how do kids make the choice to pursue Career-Technical Education, STEM learning or performing arts? This summer, they’ll have the opportunity to try out some of these specialized offerings that are unique to the district.
Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts (WCSPA), which offers project-based learning in a professional working environment, provides a few summer options for interested middle and high school students to learn costuming basics, performance movement, painting for the stage, lighting and performance poetry.
“WCSPA is a nationally recognized program and some kids each year win huge scholarships to leading schools to study theater and performing arts. These summer classes are a great way for kids to go and see WCSPA,” Bernia says.
STEM-focused rising freshman and sophomore students can participate in a team-building workshop to prepare them to excel in the acclaimed Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center, or MMSTC. Rising freshman students can get hands-on experience in some of the immersive Career-Technical Education programs at the Career Prep Center.
For families who want more summer learning on their own time, the district also offers a variety of optional at-home learning available through Warren Consolidated Schools’ website. Whether kids are looking to boost reading and math skills or prepare for the SAT, there are resources for both students and parents. And, later in the summer, students in transition grades (kindergarten and first grade, sixth grade and ninth grade) will be invited to spend time in their new school buildings and take part in transition activities before the start of school in the fall.
Learn more about Warren Consolidated Schools and summer enrichment programs for district students at wcskids.net.