SSISD campuses buzzing with activity this summer

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

June 15, 2008 - Learning never ends, even in summertime, and even though classes at Sulphur Springs Independent School District have officially been out for a week, the halls at several schools have been far from empty.

While business continues as usual at the SSISD Administration building, four campuses are bustling with summer school and other summer programs. In fact, there's enough activity going on that the district is running five buses this summer, one more than in previous years.

Summer school classes are being held at Lamar Elementary School and Sulphur Springs Middle School, and were scheduled to be offered at Sulphur Springs High School provided enough signed up to make a class, according to SSISD Assistant Superintendent Randy Reed.

Summer school is being conducted weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. through July 17 at Lamar for all elementary aged children, and from 8 a.m. to noon through July 3 at the middle school. Classes at SSHS were set through July 17, depending on student enrollment.

Lamar Elementary is also dishing up two nutritious meals a day to children during the school's summer child nutrition program. All children, including those not taking summer classes, are welcome for breakfast on a fire-come, first-served basis at Lamar each Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and for lunch from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Of the 121 students enrolled in summer-time school activities, 93 were served meals Monday at the school. Overall, 240 children were fed lunch Monday, according to school administrators.

The Beginning English/English as a Second Language summer school for students entering kindergarten and first grade will also continue to be held from 8 a.m. to noon through July 31 at Lamar Elementary.

Additional work for students needing help with the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests is also being offered this summer.

Seventh graders needing tutoring in math and reading TAKS tests are reporting for classes from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays through July 3 at SSMS.

At the high school, students will begin reporting for TAKS exit level tutorials June 25. The sessions will continue through July 9. The exit level TAKS re-tests are slated for July 14-17.

Early learners are getting a head start on the next school year in SSISD, as well.

As of Wednesday, Early Childhood Learning Center is holding classes for eligible 3-year-old Head Start students from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays through July 9. Also being held at ECLC from 8 a.m to noon Monday-Wednesday, June 25 will be ECE classes for children ages 0-12. Each Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon through June 26, ILA (parent and children activities together) is held at ECLC.

The administration building also has more people in its corridors this summer. Even Start classes for adults are being hosted there from 8 a.m. to noon every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through June 25. Even Start parenting classes are also being held at the SSISD Admin. Building from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. every Thursday through June 26.

Houston School campus also is hosting from 8 a.m. to noon through July 8 the ninth grade STARS summer classes and REACH completion for selected 2008 seniors.

Later in the summer, before children return to class, several staff development and training sessions are slated at various campus.

Mary Ann Gerard will present "Brain Gym in the Classroom" at ECLC on Aug. 13. Magan Canalis will hold "Coach 4 Success" literacy training at Bowie Elementary July 28-29 and at Lamar from Aug. 11-13. Some secondary and elementary staff will be attending "Culture Conflict: Working with African American Males," a staff development program hosted by Region VIII Education Service Center.

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