In the library at Ossining High School, about a dozen students work independently on algebra, trigonometry and geometry courses offered online. But they aren’t alone: a teacher stands ready to explain difficult concepts and a technology aide is ready to troubleshoot any computer
Meanwhile, middle school students in Letitia Payne’s
At Park School, children in grades pre-first through
five are getting a sneak preview of topics, vocabulary and concepts they will need to succeed in the coming school year. At the end of the summer program, they will produce books about their community that will be shared with students in other parts of the world.
It’s summertime but learning doesn’t take a holiday in
Although summer school offerings have been scaled back
for budget reasons, Ossining continues to offer classes to help strengthen and maintain literacy and math skills for students from pre-first through high school. The programs target the students most in need of support and use
innovative strategies to keep them engaged and motivated.
“These summer learning programs are a critical part of our mission in the Ossining School District,” said Dr. Angela White, assistant superintendent. “Without these
programs, students who have failed a course at the high school would fall behind in graduation requirements, putting them at risk of not graduating in four years. And younger students who are struggling with math or language arts would fall further behind, decreasing their chance for success in the coming school year.”
The teacher-assisted online learning taking place at
the high school offers both financial and academic benefits. Financially, using online courses saves money because one teacher can supervise students studying several different courses. Academically, the online approach allows students to “tailor the summer course to their needs because they can spend more time on the topics that they need to re-learn and less time reviewing material they already have mastered,” said Zach Yonkler, who is overseeing the students.
Calvin Ocheltree, a junior taking two online courses
this summer, said he was grateful for the opportunity to take summer classes because it should enable him to graduate on time and to take pre-calculus next
year and calculus in the senior year. Ocheltree, who plans to study computer science in college, said he needs as much math as possible before graduating from high school.
Carrieann Sipos, principal of Ossining’s summer
program for grades one through five, said the program focuses on “strengthening reading, writing, speaking, thinking and listening skills” using hands-on projects. With citizenship as a theme, the students are learning about what it means to be a citizen in their family, their community, their nation and the world.
“We’re front loading background knowledge and
vocabulary that they will need to be prepared for learning next year,” said Sipos. “Because everything is working toward creating books to be shared with children in Ecuador and Ghana, the children are very excited and motivated to learn.”