Not everyone may be aware of this, but the Milpitas High School campus bustles with activity during the summer season.
And this summer’s been no different.
Students from elementary school, middle school, and high school all took part in one (or more) of the various programs and courses offered across MHS grounds. Almost all programs wrapped up on Friday, July 26.
To get an idea of all the activity at MHS this summer, here are some highlights:
High School Extended Learning Program
The intention of this program is to give students an opportunity to recover credits that they missed during the school year.
Students who received an F (or even a D-, in some cases) are able to come and take the course again in accelerated fashion.
The Extended Learning Program features 2 sessions, back-to-back. Each session goes for 3 weeks. Students are able to take 1 or 2 sessions, depending upon their needs. If they take both sessions, which total 6 weeks of course study, it’s the equivalent of 2 semesters.
After any given school year, the vast majority of high school students who need to make up credits will take advantage of the summer program and recover those credits.
Middle School Extended Learning Program
Whereas high-schoolers have an opportunity to go back and recover credits, middle-schoolers can take advantage of their Extended Learning program for additional academic reinforcement. Although they don’t attend to make up credits, they're able to take additional classes in areas where they might need extra help.
In the first session, both the High School and Middle School Extended Learning programs had close to 370 students; the second session came in at around 300 students.
Over the summer, 19 courses ran, including subjects like Biology, Spanish, World History, English, and a variety of Math courses.
High School ELD and SDAIE Geography
Another section of summer courses encompassed English Language Development (ELD) and Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in English in the area of Geography.
Two hybrid English 1 classes were available for students who needed to meet their ELD requirements, in order to get them caught up on English, and in some cases, help them gain eligibility toward different colleges.
"When you’re a new student coming to the country, you have to surpass certain ELD levels before you can start high school English coursework,” said Deanna Sainten, who was the Co-Principal (along with Nichol Klein) for the summer programs on the MHS campus. “The struggle comes with how quickly can we get them into these classes because we want these students to have college opportunities like everyone else.”
Currently, MUSD is looking for ways to improve the recruitment process so that we’re able to bring in more students who need these classes in the future, as this year showed lower numbers of students across ELD classes than previous years.
Middle School ELD
Same as above, except this program is geared toward middle schoolers. It’s all about preventing lost opportunities in language acquisition over the summer months.
High School Extended School Year (ESY)
Middle School Extended School Year (ESY)
Both the High School and Middle School ESY opportunities are extended school year programs for special education students who receive special services during the school year. Their services don’t just come to a halt due to the appearance of summer. Some who receive services like Speech or are involved in Work Studies programs have the opportunity to continue.
Also, through these programs, Special Education students have been on the MHS campus over the summer, learning lessons that will provide them with a strong foundation for independence in life. They learn things like how to use public transportation and shop for groceries, and go on field trips to places like the Great Mall.
Santa Clara County also runs a program for 2 classrooms of Special Education students over the summer, known as their Community Based Instruction (CBI) program.
Over this summer, there were 2 middle school ESY classes, 2 high school ESY classes, and 2 CBI classes.
8th Grade Math Summer Bridge
This is an intervention-based course for 8th-graders, designed to reaffirm what they learned in the previous year. If they’ve been struggling with math concepts, this program helps them even the playing field, so that they can walk into the new school year feeling confident.
Summit Extended Learning
For the past 5 years, MUSD has been working with Summit Learning, which offers an online platform that personalizes the teaching and learning experience.
In our school district, Summit is used by Pomeroy Elementary (4th, 5th, and 6th grades), Weller Elementary (5th and 6th grades), and Russell Middle School (not entire grades, but different classes). MHS is also starting to use the program.
The program is free to use; one just has to learn the software. The beauty of Summit lies in the fact that it’s self-paced, and allows students the opportunity to participate in project-based learning while receiving mentoring. Goal-setting is also a big part of the process.
Over the summer, the Summit Extended Learning program gave opportunities to students who weren’t able to finish the program during the regular school year. Although students are able to access the online platform from home, they’re not able to take the course’s content assessments without the approval and presence of their teacher.
And so, over the course of 2 weeks, elementary students and middle school students were able to drop in during specific time slots, to take their content assessments.
The assessments are comprised of 10 questions, which are based on certain objectives; students must demonstrate that they understand everything they’ve learned so far.
All topics — like Math, Science, History, and more — are based on California Content Standards for certain grade levels.
"Not everything is a one fit model,” said Sainten. “With this, kids get to learn at their own pace, and it’s pretty magical. The results I’ve seen have really blown me away.”
Summit Extended Learning started on June 17, and finished up on June 27.
Looking to the Start of a New School Year
Our staff and students have worked hard this summer. In just a couple short months, the educational pathways of students who engaged in this summer coursework have been tremendously enhanced.
We’re about to step into the 2019-2020 school year more confident than ever, knowing that the students in our Milpitas community will continue blazing toward successful futures. And MUSD is happy to be able to continue the work of supporting and empowering them in the process.