The Long Beach Unified School District piloted a Summer Enrichment Program this year at selected middle schools. The program helped to prepare hundreds of students for rigorous programs at the high school level.
Students experienced the collegiate lifestyle during visits to Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach. They also researched the 40 academic and career pathways offered in local high schools. Stephens Middle School students, for instance, found themselves in a mock courtroom trial at Cabrillo High School’s Academy of Law and Justice.
“We wanted to get our high achieving students ready for high school. We call it the High School Readiness Camp,” said teacher Kevin Smith of Stephens. “So it’s been three weeks, Monday through Thursday, teaching these students about jobs, careers, high school pathways, their interests and everything in between we could think of.”
Students used digital tools including Chromebooks, and they participated in lessons created to address their specific needs.
“Our ultimate goal for this summer school and during this school year is really to create that sense of belonging,” said Jay Camerino, assistant superintendent of Middle and K-8 Schools. “Our students need to feel like our teachers and our staff and schools care about them so they can make that connection.”
The school district plans to continue and hopefully expand the program next summer.
“This program was a great start,” Smith said. “Next year we have a template to go forward.”