Schools set up summer programs to offer face-to-face fun & skills mastery

by Kate Evans

Morgan County Schools has planned a variety of summer programs that will have a mix of remediation and enrichment activities for pre-K through twelfth grade students.

Programs include Camp MoCo at Warm Springs Intermediate School, Camp Alpha at Warm Springs Middle School and credit recovery at Berkeley Springs High School and Paw Paw High School.

Funding for the summer programs comes partly from the Summer Opportunities for Learning and Engagement (SOLE) Grant program.

The deadline for all summer program registration applications is May 14.

Camp MoCo

Camp MoCo is for current pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students and runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday from June 14 to July 9.  It offers reading, writing, math, music, art, movement, science and social studies, said Morgan County Schools Elementary Education Director Kandy Pentoney.  During the week of July 5-9 it will take place Tuesday through Friday.

The program also offers engineering, problem-solving and playing chess.  Kids will learn to build things and work together, Pentoney said.  They’re adding additional staff this year so there will be smaller groups and more 1-1 help with reading and math.

Pentoney said they’re still partnering with Morgan County Extension Service staff Carmen Winiarski and Amie Tutor for science help and STEM projects.  Victoria Lusk from the Cacapon Institute will be coming for watershed education.  Starting Points will be supporting Paw Paw’s summer program.

Starting Points Director Audrey Morris said that they’ll be offering four weeks of STEM activities, arts and crafts and environmental activities for children of all ages at the Paw Paw Park on Mondays and Fridays starting July 12.

Pentoney said that their focus is face-to-face, hands-on active engagement.  A social worker, nurse and speech pathologist will provide support.

Weekly themes include kids, staff and West Virginia’s birthdays, children’s favorite authors, biographies, fairy tales, space, animals and the environment, Pentoney said.

Field trip excursions are planned to Cacapon State Park, Berkeley Springs State Park and the Berkeley Springs Museum.

Participants will have breakfast, lunch and snacks.  This year door-to-door transportation will be provided, she said.  Kids will go to their normal bus stop to get picked up.

Pentoney said they’re planning for 100 kids for Camp MoCo.  Registration flyers for Camp MoCo and other summer programs are being sent home with students this week and are also being posted on the new Morgan County Schools website. Forms will be able to be completed online.

Middle school camp

Morgan County Schools Secondary Education Director Beth Golden said that a full-day Camp Alpha program will be held for grades 6-8 from June 14 to July 9 at Warm Springs Middle School from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Golden said that Camp Alpha is patterned after Camp MoCo but is more credit recovery and enrichment.

Mornings will be targeted academic intervention or enrichment in reading and math along with Positive Actions lessons.

After lunch MC After 3 tutors will provide enrichment activities in arts, career exploration, outside physical activity, cooking class, STEM activities and outdoor games and fun, she said.

Camp Alpha will have optional field trips on Fridays with the MC After 3 Program to places like James Rumsey Technical Institute and Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.

Wrap-around care

Golden said school officials are working with the Boys and Girls Club to provide wrap-around care before and after the camp programs for working families.  She said the details on times and location are still being ironed out.

Camp Alpha will work the same as Camp MoCo with days, times, meals and door-to-door transportation. They’re planning for 50 students to participate, Golden said.

The middle school will be targeting students that could benefit, but any middle school student is welcome to apply.

Golden said she’s excited to have a summer program happening at the middle school this year.  She wants it to be more face-to-face time since kids have missed so much of that with the pandemic.

“It’s great to have the option to catch up on skills they missed or to have the summer experience,” she said.

Berkeley Springs High School

Berkeley Springs High School’s summer school program goes from June 2 to July 16. Golden said they have an ongoing summer school and credit recovery program at Berkeley Springs High School with teacher Mike Wilder.

If a student fails a class needed for graduation, Wilder tailors the program so the student can make up the portion of the course they weren’t successful in or missed.

Wilder is generally available several  days a week in person and virtually the other days.  Golden said they’re hiring several more teachers so there’s an adult there every day with students.

Transportation is available during the Camp MoCo/Camp Alpha dates of June 14 to July 9.  The high school students will have the option to be included in the Friday career education field trips.

Grades 6-12 also have the option to go to the MC After 3 Camp at Cacapon State Park Monday through Friday from August 2 to 13.

Paw Paw High School

Paw Paw High School’s summer program is a credit recovery program like Berkeley Springs High School’s summer program, Golden said. They plan to have a math and English/reading teacher to tutor students along with an administrator.

If students are struggling or have failed a class, they’ll be referred to the program.  Doing the program virtually will be an option.

Golden said she’s really excited to offer this level of support to students and the community through the summer programs and make up some of the things kids have missed this year, like being with their friends and building relationships.