Summer School
Another successful summer school session completed for Hughson students and staff

July 2, 2024

Summer school wrapped up last week for more than 400 Hughson students of all ages. The students benefited from a focused environment with smaller class sizes that allowed teachers more flexibility to explain subject material, especially in key areas like math and English. 

Given that it’s summer, there also were shorter school days and ample time – especially for younger students – set aside for fun. That included incentives such as ice cream on Fridays for everyone, weekly assemblies and a busy after school program for students up to grade six that included themed weeks and field trips.

“We like to make the program very effective, but also a lot of fun,” said elementary Principal Jeff Persons. “We recognize that summer school is not required and we all want to make the experience enjoyable and fun!”

The 180 elementary students all were taught at the Hughson Elementary campus. Any student could enroll, but Persons said personal invitations were sent to parents of youngsters who had struggled with a topic in the regular school year.

The idea, he said, was to “give them extra support and prepare them for the grade to come.”

Persons credited the summer school teachers and other staff for their dedication to the students.

“They go above and beyond to ensure that everyone has an amazing time,” he said.

Summer school ran from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the month of June. When it was over each day, many of the elementary students – plus some of the sixth-graders from Ross Middle School – immediately transitioned into the after school enrichment program led by Janet Oliver and her team. (Some students who were not enrolled in summer school participated in the after school program from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

This year’s after school theme was “ASP in the Great Outdoors.” Each week included a mini-theme like Campin’ Out (mountains and space), Heatin’ Up & Chillin’ Out (exploring the savannah and Antarctica), Buggin’ Out (bugs, reptiles and other creatures) and Beach Bound (oceans and tropical life). 

“Our team came through in a big way for the kids and outdid themselves with the many projects and activities they offered,” Oliver said.

At Ross Middle School, about 75 sixth- and seventh-graders participated in summer school. Principal Mary La Rosa said special outreach was directed at students who had struggled in math and English; in particular, those who had tested at three or more grade levels behind this spring.

“Students did great with low-class numbers and school only being three hours long,” she said.

Like Persons, La Rosa also gave credit to her teaching staff. 

“Without them willing to start their summer vacation late, there would be no summer school,” she said.

At the high school, summer school Principal Natalie Moring said the mood was a little more serious for the 163 teens enrolled there. That’s because those students at risk of not graduating were taking courses they needed to pass in order to earn their diplomas.

Four teachers focused on core subjects such as math, English, social studies and science, Moring said. The classes were online, allowing students the choice to study at home or come to campus for face-to-face meetings with instructors.

“Students worked at their own pace to complete assignments, so they did have the ability to complete the course early,” Moring explained.

On Fridays, high school students also were given ice cream for an incentive to attend and complete their summer school requirements.