Registration to Begin Soon for New, Improved K-7 Summer Academy

2019 District 401 Summer Academy logo

Students work together during a STEM class at last year's Summer Academy. This year's summer program will feature a number of changes, including free tuition. (District 401 photo by Dave Porreca)


Get ready for the new and improved District 401 Summer Academy for grades K-7!

The 2019 Summer Academy will take place from June 3 to July 3 at John Mills Elementary School. All classes will be free for District families.

"I love the idea of the school year continuing into the summer," said Director for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Leah Gauthier.

"The District made the change to new curriculum resources to begin the 2018-19 school year. We wanted to ensure that the same work done during the school year continues in the summer as well."

Dr. Gauthier oversaw the changes with the help of Summer School Principal Ms. AmyLynn Vero, instructional coaches Ms. Morgan Freeck and Ms. Jamie Kanas, and Director for Student Services Dr. Kari Smith.

Two main course tracks will be available for students this summer: Learning Academy courses, for which students must meet District criteria and receive a teacher recommendation, and enrichment courses, which are open to all students. Both types of courses are described below.

Details about registration for Learning Academy courses will be provided at Elmwood and John Mills parent-teacher conferences on Wednesday, Feb. 13, and Thursday, Feb. 14. Information relevant to kindergarten students will be provided to parents during kindergarten registration.

Registration for enrichment courses will be done online at this address and will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19.


Changes for Summer 2019


Summer Academy logoIn the meantime, here's an overview of some of the changes that students and parents can look forward to this summer:

Two-Week or Four-Week Classes
Summer Academy classes will run for either two weeks or four weeks. All classes will end before the 4th of July.

Five-Hour School Day, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. M-F
The school day will be extended by an hour to provide children opportunities for recess, lunch and social-emotional learning.

School Day Includes Lunch
Every student will receive lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. each day. Lunches are funded by the Seamless Summer Grant.

No Summer Academy Fees for D401 Students
All Summer Academy 2019 tuition and fees will be waived for District families.

In addition, professional development will be incorporated into the schedule for Summer Academy faculty. Learning labs for teachers will be offered weekly, with the professional development workshops running from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. 

"I am excited for the teachers to learn as well," Dr. Gauthier said.


Learning Academy Courses


Students will be recommended for Learning Academy courses using predetermined District criteria and teacher recommendations. These courses consist of the following:

Cubs Camp 
This is a two-week class for incoming kindergarten students. Eligibility is based on kindergarten readiness data. Tuition is covered by the Healthy Communities Investment Grant.

Newcomers Camp
This is a two-week class for incoming students in grades 1-7 who are English language newcomers (recent immigrants). Eligibility is based on English Learners criteria. Tuition is covered by the District’s Title III grant.

Learning Academy
This is a 23-day class for incoming students in grades 1-6. Coursework will be a continuation of the school-year curriculum. Students will qualify based on specific academic criteria. Depending on need, some classes will have a co-teacher. Tuition is covered by the Healthy Communities Investment Grant.

The registration process for Learning Academy courses will be explained to parents at the District’s elementary parent-teacher conferences Feb. 13-14. 

Parents of students who were recommended for grade-level Learning Academy courses will receive a letter from their child's teacher at their conference. This letter will provide more information about the Learning Academy opportunity and directions for enrollment.


Enrichment Courses


All students are invited to sign up for an enrichment course based on their grade level.

Unlike Learning Academy classes, these courses do not require students to meet specific criteria or receive teacher recommendations, but they are limited to 25 students each.

Registration will be done online and begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Parents can access the registration site at this address: 

http://bit.ly/2RGptNY

Representatives from the Summer Academy team will be available during parent-teacher conferences at both elementary buildings to provide parents with more information.

Enrichment course descriptions are available below.


MATH GAMES & READER'S THEATER

DATES

TIMES

GRADES

INSTRUCTOR

June 3 to 14

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Incoming grades 4-6

Mr. Bolin

In Math Games, students will learn how to make multiplication, division, fractions, geometry and other math operations fun. Students will learn about and play a variety of math games via technology and other hands-on activities.

Reader's Theater immerses children in oral reading through reading parts in scripts. As "theater of the imagination," it involves children in understanding their world, creating their own scripts, reading aloud, performing with a purpose and bringing enjoyment to both themselves and their audiences. Reader's Theater gives children a purpose for writing, for reading and for sharing their learning by bringing others into the joyful "imagination space" they create.


STEM CAMP

DATES

TIMES

GRADES

INSTRUCTOR

June 3 to July 3

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Incoming grades 4-6

Mr. Uhler

In STEM Camp, students will build their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math through teamwork, scientific investigations and challenging engineering tasks. These include "digital breakouts," in which students will need to solve different problems or puzzles to complete the breakout activity. Students will also have a chance to use hands-on invention kits like littleBits and Makey Makey, which allow them to invent anything from a remote-controlled car to an art machine or a banana piano.


AROUND THE WORLD IN 10 DAYS

DATES

TIMES

GRADES

INSTRUCTOR

June 3 to 14

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Incoming grades 5-7

Ms. Tobey

Students will learn about different places around the world by reading nonfiction articles, creating interactive art projects and strengthening their informational writing skills. Students will be immersed in countries and their cultures from all seven different continents!


KID POWER

DATES

TIMES

GRADES

INSTRUCTOR

June 3 to 14

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Incoming grades 4-5

Mrs. Lester

Learn more about this class at parent-teacher conferences. More information on the way!


SUMMER TIME ACTIVITIES

DATES

TIMES

GRADES

INSTRUCTOR

June 3 to 14

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Incoming grades 1-3

Mr. Fryer

What to do with a summer vacation? Kids can spend each day inside playing video games, or they can get out and experience all that summer has to offer! Running a lemonade-stand fundraiser, exploring the community, going for walks to visit local parks, the pool and library, participating in social activities and learning new outdoor games or skills are just some of the things that students in this class will partake in to help them have a full and active summer.


SUMMER TIME ACTIVITIES

DATES

TIMES

GRADES

INSTRUCTOR

June 17 to July 3

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Incoming grades 4-7

Mr. Fryer

What to do with a summer vacation? Kids can spend each day inside playing video games, or they can get out and experience all that summer has to offer! Running a lemonade-stand fundraiser, exploring the community, going for walks to visit local parks, the pool and library, participating in social activities and learning new outdoor games or skills are just some of the things that students in this class will partake in to help them have a full and active summer.


Extended School Year (ESY) for Grades 1-12 IEP


Besides Learning Academy and enrichment classes, one other summer option will be offered to District students: Extended School Year (ESY) for students who have individualized education plans (IEPs).

ESY is a 23-day class for incoming IEP students in grades 1-12. Students will qualify based on their IEPs. Related services will be provided. Tuition is covered by District funds.

Classes will be held at John Mills for elementary school students and at Elmwood Park High School for middle and high school students.


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