Summer learning happens all over the district, from traditional summer school to community education opportunities to professional development for our adult learners. There is also a special education service called Extended School Year, or ESY, which is offered to eligible students during the summer months. The intent of the service is to prevent severe regression of critical skills.
For the past several years, Melinda Lambert has been the administrator for ESY in our district. In this highly structured program, staff provides daily instruction with the main focus on behavioral needs, daily living skills, social skills, and communication. The staff works together to collaborate and teach each other as they model effective teaching practices. Selecting staff members who have the drive and purpose for working with students who have a high level of instructional needs is a key to the effectiveness of ESY. Melinda has shared her thoughts on ESY: “The staff truly works as one team – through organized systems, effective communication, and personnel stepping up to help each other at a moments notice. Working together makes this program a professional learning community.”
For the past three years, Brit Budd has been the deaf education teacher at ESY. She has implemented a variety of project-based learning units. One, in particular, is the student business known as Superhero Deaf Coffee. This unit includes pre-vocational skill development, language learning, practical math, and real-world relevance. Brit had this to say: “My students developed the floorplan, menu, and advertising for their business, Superhero Deaf Coffee. The self-esteem they gained from this experience was immeasurable. They learned to communicate with hearing customers and collaborate with Deaf peers throughout the process. They were happy to show up every day to run their business!”
A big thanks to Melinda and Brit and all of the educators who made ESY such a successful support for our students again this year!