Park City School District wrapped up its 2023 Summer School Program on a high note, celebrating its students' hard work and achievements. The program was split into two components, Elementary Programs, and Secondary Programs, which combined had nearly 250 students.
Catering to different age groups, each program is meticulously designed to balance academic reinforcement with extracurricular exploration.
Elementary Program provides younger students with a mix of learning and play. While structured tutoring helps solidify their foundational knowledge, many recreational activities—from arts and crafts to sports—ensure their physical and creative energies find the right outlets. On the other hand, the Secondary Program builds on the day's lessons, offering supplemental academic support, especially in core subjects. It also introduces students to a range of activities, from debate clubs to coding workshops, ensuring they have a platform to hone diverse skills.
Through these programs, the district ensures that learning and growth don't just stop when the school bell rings.
Elementary Explorers: Setting the Foundation (Kindergarten - 5th Grade)
For the younger minds, the elementary program prioritized small-group learning. Teachers tailored lessons to students’ individual levels in math and reading. This flexibility allowed some students to experience one-on-one reading sessions while others enhanced their Spanish language acquisition through conversation and reading exercises. Project-based learning was another highlight.
Every afternoon, the school grounds buzzed with the energy of students delving into many activities. Whether mastering a jump shot in basketball, experimenting with musical notes, or dancing away to the beats of Salsa, the summer school program ensured every child had an avenue to pursue their passion. Sports like soccer, dodgeball, and lacrosse stood alongside card games, art projects, theater, and much more.
This enthusiasm for learning was further nurtured with carefully planned end-of-week field trips. From gazing at the celestial wonders at the Clark Planetarium to witnessing the aquatic marvels at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium or stepping back in time at the Mountain America Museum of Ancient Life, these excursions amplified classroom learning with real-world experiences.
Daniel Wells, the elementary summer school coordinator, proudly remarked, ”We appreciate all the challenging work students did to come every day and keep up their academic skills and the teachers that prepared practical lessons that made this summer exciting, fun, and successful. It's a huge compliment when students ask to come to summer school and try never to miss a day!”
Secondary Highlights: Fostering the Future (6th Grade - 8th Grade)
With a focus on enriching activities aligned with Utah standards, the secondary program leaned into a science fiction theme. Classic Ray Bradbury stories such as "The Veldt," "There Will Come Soft Rains," and "The Sound of Thunder" set the stage for explorations into the power and consequences of technology.
Students dived deep into science, creating robot bugs that utilized water power to move. These experiments effectively showcased Newton’s third law of motion and basic hydraulics. In the math domain, students brushed up on grades 6-8 standards, ensuring they were well-prepared for the upcoming year at Ecker Hill Middle School and Treasure Mountain Junior High.
Field trips were an integral part of the summer experience. Students got to experience the Utah Hogle Zoo, Kamas Pool, Clark Planetarium, Park City Library, and hands-on volunteering at Swanner Preserve & EcoCenter provided students a holistic learning experience.
An insightful tour of Mountainland Technical College also taught students about high school credits and potential career paths.
Collaborations with community partners, including Kimball Arts, Jump Start Basketball Academy, Live Like Sam, Park City Soccer Club, and The Big You, enriched the program. Through these partnerships, students embraced creative thinking, art, sports, and vital life skills such as stress and time management.
According to Todd Klarich, Summer School Director, both programs' successes are a testament to Park City School District's dedication to providing enriching experiences that bridge the gap between academic years.
“As the district looks forward to 2024, there's no doubt that these students are prepared to succeed in the coming school year,” said Klarich.