As the sun sets on Summer Academy 2023, I would like to reflect on the positive energy that took place from June 20 through July 14. During the 18-day program, more than 150 dedicated staff teamed up to support more than 1,500 students in grades Transitional Kindergarten through 8th grade with a variety of enrichment activities that complemented a robust literacy curriculum.
At each school I visited, It was a pleasure to see our teachers utilizing Scholastic’s LitCamp (short for Literacy Camp) featuring high-interest text that supported key elements of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Across each Summer Academy site, LitCamp was celebrated, encouraged, and supported through lessons in the classroom, dress-up days, and lunchtime activities.
I am thrilled to share that we contracted with many community partners to provide fun-filled enrichment opportunities. Restorative Justice League (RJL) worked with students to bolster social-emotional wellness. Local Art Tree artists engaged our students, highlighting local cultures. Additional partners such as former Harlem Globetrotter “Corey the Dribbler,” Camfel Productions, and Freestyle Connection BMX offered inspiring messages while putting on exciting educational performances. Our partnership with StemForged provided students, grades K-8 an opportunity to learn specific instruction related to coding and gaming.
I’m pleased to share that many students took local excursions to complement their learning, including 5th grade students who traveled to the Merced County Courthouse and received a special visit and speech from City of Merced Mayor Matthew Serratto. Preschool students were able to sign-up for swim lessons through the City of Merced and joined their Kindergarten counterparts at the Kids Discovery Station. 1st grade students traveled to Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo and 8th grade students spent the day touring Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno campuses.
At MCSD, we remain committed to investing in the well being of our students, staff and families, making it a top priority to employ a broad range of staff throughout Summer Academy. I am grateful to the dedicated MCSD staff who all went above and beyond to make sure our students had a fun and enriching experience. (site administrators, teachers, office personnel, teacher librarians, library media assistants, school counselors, BCBA, custodial staff, SNS team, noon-duty supervisors, transportation dept., school nurse, health assistants, cafeteria staff, instructional assistants, and last but not least, application technicians, for playing a vital role in the success of Summer Academy 2023.)
It was an exciting Summer Academy 2023! Students and staff truly enjoyed the experience, and I look forward to seeing all of the new and returning faces at the start of the 2023-2024 school year, which kicks off on Wednesday,
Brian Meisenheimer is the acting superintendent of the Merced City School District.