Saturday, December 15, 2012

Update about PPS Summer Dreamers

Good info from PPS about 2013 Summer Dreamers,

Of course, what comes below is subject to PPS Board approval.

Summer Dreamers Academy 2013 Program Plans

The Summer Dreamers Academy planning team continues to think strategically about how best to provide high quality summer programming to the greatest number of Pittsburgh Public Schools students, and those with the greatest need. We remain focused on stemming summer learning loss and providing engaging academic programming and unique activity offerings to K‐8th grade campers; we look forward to continuing to support PPS students to become Promise Ready©.

Summer Dreamers Academy Outcome Goals
1. Minimize or stop the effects of summer learning loss for participating youth.
2. Prepare students academically and socially so that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to
successfully begin the next school year.
3. Encourage a passion for learning and exploration that is a driving factor for future academic success.
4. Motivate youth to persist in the face of challenges with the knowledge that hard work and effort will yield

The information below outlines our preliminary plans for the 2013 program. Feedback from parents, campers and staff members, along with data from our external evaluators, directed our decision making. All information is officially pending funding and Board approval.

Program Dates & Times
In order to provide the maximum academic benefit to campers, the 2013 Summer Dreamers Academy will be a 27 day program. Program dates are Monday, July 1st – Wednesday, August 7th for campers (no camp on Thursday, July 4th), with pre‐camp professional development and post‐camp wrap‐up requirements for staff. Summer Dreamers will remain a full day program, with camper arrival scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and dismissal scheduled for 4 p.m.

Enrollment for Summer Dreamers will launch in early March with the mailing of enrollment materials to the homes of all K‐8th grade students in the District. Additional enrollment materials will be available at schools and through the parent hotline. The enrollment deadline is May 3rd, 2013 – no late registration forms will be accepted. The enrollment status of all applicants (accepted or not accepted) will be communicated to families in late May.

Based on current budget projections, we anticipate serving roughly 2300 K‐8th grade campers ‐ about 320 campers per grade level in K‐5th grade, and about 100 campers per grade level in 6th – 8th grade. Every student in grades K‐8 is encouraged to apply. Acceptance will be determined through a weighted lottery considering factors including a student’s free/reduced price lunch status and academic performance on PSSA (4th – 8th graders) or DIBELS (K‐3rd graders) assessments. Also, in 2013, admission decisions will allow for sibling preference – if one child in a family is accepted to Summer Dreamers, other children in the household will also be admitted.

Summer Dreamers will operate four regional elementary (K‐5) sites and one central middle grades (6‐8) site in 2013. Elementary sites will be Pittsburgh: Carmalt, Classical, University Prep and Faison. The middle grades location will be Pittsburgh CAPA. Elementary campers will be assigned to a site based on their feeder school.

Transportation & Food
In accordance with the District’s transportation policy, Summer Dreamers provides transportation to any camper who lives more than 1.5 miles from his/her assigned camp site. We also offer a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack free of charge to all campers.

Daily Schedule
All K‐8th grade Summer Dreamers campers will participate in two 90‐minute morning academic blocks and two 75‐ minute afternoon activity blocks in 2013.

8:00 am
8:30 – 8:45 am
8:45 – 9:10 am
9:10 – 9:15 am
9:15 – 10:45 am
10:45 – 10:50 am
10:50– 12:20 pm
12:20 – 1:05 pm
1:05 – 2:20 pm
2:20 – 2:25 pm
2:25 – 3:40 pm
3:40 – 4:00 pm
4:15 pm

Staff arrival
Camper Arrival & Breakfast
All Camp Meeting
Transition to Block #1
Block #1 (Academics – ELA or Math) Transition to Block #2
Block #2 (Academics – ELA or Math) Transition to Lunch
Transition to Block #3
Block #3 (Activities)
Transition to Block #4
Block #4 (Activities)
Camper Dismissal
Staff dismissal

Each camp site will be led by a Camp Leadership Team consisting of a Camp Director, Operations Managers, Curriculum Coaches, and an Activity Specialist. The Camp Leadership Team works closely with the Summer Dreamers Academy central office planning team to plan and execute the program at their site. Certified academic teachers will implement the morning ELA and math blocks and provide support for Special Ed and ESL campers. Activities will primarily be facilitated by activity provider staff (see more information about Activities below), but certified activity teachers will be hired by Summer Dreamers to provide additional support and assist with linking activities to academic standards. Camp Coordinators will be hired at each site to assist with camp site operations and to work with teachers and campers during instructional time. Each camp site will also have a full day nurse and security guard.

We are continuing to select activity provider partners through the Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Proposals for 2013 were due on December 7th, and partners will be announced in late January. Providers submitted proposals to serve elementary and/or middle grades campers and requested to facilitate 75‐minute activities with two different groups of campers, or extended 155‐minute activities with one group of campers. We strive to provide exciting activity options at all grade levels. Campers will be able to rank their activity preferences upon enrollment, and placements will be made on a first‐come, first‐served basis for admitted campers. Activity offerings for each site will be included in enrollment materials.

Feedback on our 2012 program is being used to guide curriculum planning for 2013. All K‐8th grade Summer Dreamers campers will participate in a 90‐minute literacy block and a 90‐minute math block daily, to support academic growth and combat summer learning loss in a fun and exciting atmosphere. The literacy block will be based in a National Geographic content‐based literacy curriculum, with a daily intervention block to support struggling readers at the elementary grades. The McGraw Hill Number Worlds curriculum will serve as the foundation for the mathematics component of Summer Dreamers, with a focus on problem solving and real‐world skills. New in 2013, all enrichment activities will include a connected writing project. Campers will brainstorm, draft, edit, revise, and publish a finished work that showcases what they learned and did in their daily activity blocks. The enrichment activity will serve as the theme upon which youth will base their writing, and projects can take on many forms, such as a newspaper, fictional story, how‐to guide, or blog.

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