Washington Elementary School adds unique element to summer school program

Local News

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV)-School administrators say a new program at Washington Elementary School in Oshkosh is like your typical summer school, but with one important difference. 

The kindergartners and first graders in the program, called the Summer Climb Program, get to work with the Washington Elementary teachers who they’ve been working with the entire school year. 

“From day one of the program, they (the teachers) knew exactly what each student’s individual goals were and what instructional opportunities were going to move those goals forward,” says Washington Elementary School principal Krisi Levy. “Without the dedication of our staff and their willingness and excitement about staying here with their students in the summer, Summer Climb wouldn’t be possible.”

The Summer Climb program staff includes math and literacy intervention teachers and a special education teacher.

The program helps the kids keep their math, reading, and writing skills sharp at a time in their lives when research shows this type of learning is most impactful.

Through a partnership with the Oshkosh Area United Way, all students enrolled in the program get a full scholarship to participate.

“It’s really about early intervention and how do we get to our students earlier when they’re building those foundational skills,” says Levy.

Levy says Summer Climb helps make up for the lost in-person learning time that resulted from the pandemic which is a feature of the program parents say they appreciate.

“We had been doing the virtual learning over the past year, so when we had the opportunity to bring him (her son who is in the program) back to an in-person learning space that would be a great way to transition him from learning in the living room to learning in person with actual teachers face-to-face and actual socialization with teachers as well,” says parent Libby Robarge.

Students in the Summer Climb Program not only work on their math, reading, and writing, they also get taught social and behavioral skills.

“I think what has impressed us so far is the stamina and the maturity levels of the kids” says Washington Elementary School kindergarten teacher Bailey Zeinert-Coe.

The program runs for seven weeks during the summer.

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