Summer was on the mind of those who spoke at the Fort Wayne Community Schools “Live with the Superintendent” on May 3.
FWCS Superintendent Mark Daniel and Public Information Officer Krista Stockman are familiar faces in these live events. Matt Schiebel, a secondary director at FWCS, and Hayley Sauer, an elementary director, were also in attendance.
The first topic of discussion was summer programs. Schiebel and Sauer spoke to those, but Daniel said that the programs are bigger and better than last year.
“We are doing some things in this next summer session that I think will add to what we did last summer,” Daniel said.
According to Sauer, there was a good response to the kindergarten program. For elementary students, the Summer Learning 2022 will run June 6-30. There will be no classes on June 20 to celebrate Juneteenth.
“We are hosting it at 13 elementary sites,” Sauer said.
She said people could find which schools will be hosting on www.fwcs.k12.in.us under the Summer Learning 2022 tab. Parents and guardians will also see which school their child will attend, as all FWCS elementary schools will not host summer learning due to various renovation projects.
Transportation will be provided for those who live in the district’s zones. There are still spots available for those who are interested. Classes will take place from 8:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
“Our goal when you think about summer learning and just finishing a school year a week before, we want kids to be excited and be engaged while learning while honing in of their standards and skills of their current grade level while going into their next grade level,” Sauer said.
The curriculum department has been working to establish what the students will learn. But Sauer said there would not be specific subjects taught at particular times. The subjects will be blended into different lessons.
Lessons will be hands-on, transdisciplinary and project-based.
“We want them to want to come to Summer Learning 2022 every single day,” Sauer said.
Schiebel then spoke on the middle and high school programs. He began with middle school classes. This program will run on the same dates as the elementary summer learning from 7:45 a.m. until 12:15 a.m.
“We, too, are consolidating,” Schiebel said. “So we are at three different sites. We will be at Blackhawk, Kekionga and Memorial Park. Students that are in that proximity will attend one of those three schools.”
Transportation will be provided for secondary students in FWCS zones as well. Schiebel said that there are still spaces open for students who want to participate. Registration for secondary summer programming is also on the FWCS website.
“We have a variety of things going on at the middle schools,” Schiebel said. “We will have some project-based learning through Defined Learning, which is pretty exciting. We have John Lucky from Memorial Park, who is taking his rocket-building experience on the road. He will be at each of the three sites for about six days as part of the STEM project.”
There will also be a focus on literacy.
“We’re excited,” Schiebel said.
He said parents should call their local school if they have any questions.
There are credit recovery and acceleration classes at all five FWCS high schools for high school students.
“We are kind of doing it old-school to begin with,” Schiebel said.
There are flyers at each high school. Students will take those home, complete the forms, turn them in and register for classes.
“If you have graduation requirement courses that you didn’t pass, here is your opportunity to take them,” Schiebel said.
Graduation Pathways courses have been added to the roster this summer as well.
It will run from 8 a.m.-noon. If a student is recovering a credit, they will stay until that objective is completed. Students have the opportunity to recover credits in two weeks instead of three.
Some students can elect to do a program in the community. This initiative began last year to help teachers get involved with community sites. A few places the students will collaborate with are the Boys & Girls Clubs, several parks and recreation sites, the YWCA and more.
“We are very grateful for our community partners that are willing to host,” Schiebel said. “It’s a win-win situation. We’re excited about that.”
All programs are free for students who want to participate, and they will receive breakfast and lunch. Supplies will be provided for students who attend.
The summer program information can be found at fortwayneschools.org/summer-learning-2022.
After this discussion, Daniel spoke about FWCS Amp Lab at Electric Works.
Proposed in 2017 as a 1.2 million-square-foot project on 39 acres, the vacant General Electric campus will be converted into more than 700,000 square feet of usable mixed-use development space. Retail, commercial and educational areas will be provided.
Daniel said he is excited for FWCS’s Amp Lab, part of the Electric Works project, to open next year. The goal was to have 400 students in the programs, and that goal was met.
“That’s one of the best programs if you are interested in entrepreneurship that I think we are going to see in the entire region,” Daniel said. “Better than any other institution. I would even challenge, if this really flows like we think it is going to flow, our students are going to be heads and hands above other students that are already in college with the kind of experience they are going to receive. This is an unbelievable opportunity for our kids.”
Other topics of discussion were:
- Details of the community meeting regarding what an ideal graduate of FWCS would look like were presented.
- The dress code in the secondary level. There is a defined dress code, and enforcement will be more prevalent. Schiebel said they do not want to force kids out of school because of a dress code violation, but they expect students to wear appropriate clothing as defined in the FWCS handbook.
- A tutoring program where teachers will be taking courses and be able to teach students on a more individualized basis.
- An explanation of the process of holding students back a grade if they are performing poorly and what is done to prevent this from happening.
- High-ability courses in middle schools.
- The last school day for students is May 26.