Revamped Lynden Summer School a success

Revamped Lynden Summer School a success
Posted on 08/23/2018

A new style of summer school hit Lynden Schools and with about 170 students taking part, Patrick McClure, principal, found it an exciting summer of learning.

“We were able to provide smaller class sizes and more support for the younger kids for skill-building in literacy and math,” McClure says about the new style. Lynden Schools doubled its capacity for the program for students in kindergarten through third grade. This year, about 80 students joined in those ages. Plus, the style changed for the fourth- through seventh-grade model to a STEM-based program, focusing on science, technology, engineering and math. With about 90 students involved there, again, it was a success.

Students were engaged in “unique and fun learning experiences related to volcanoes, ice cream, sea creatures, camping” and more. “For the older kids, they were able to collaborate and participate in hands-on, experiential learning,” McClure says. “Fourth through fifth grade focused on the concept of ‘launch’ and made and launched rockets, hot air balloons and catapults. Sixth and seventh graders worked together and problem-solved to engage in an ‘escape room’ experience.”

Seeing those students “buzzing with energy and analysis” as they tried to unlock the codes and fine more clues to escape the room proved a highlight, he says.

Located at Isom Elementary, the summer school invited students from all Lynden Schools buildings with teachers throughout the district leading the learning. The group of younger students were all nominated by teachers and invited to attend as a way to help mitigate summer learning loss. The time also helped provide access to reading materials. At the older ages, students were able to collaborate and problem-solve with their peers, using knowledge and skills they’ve gained during match and science.

With such a focused effort for the June and July program, McClure saw plenty of positives, including having most of the school out front watching as third grade students erupted volcanoes. “That was pretty fun,” he says. “Some shot high, others oozed colored foam out the top. Everyone loved it.”