Summer break for Madison City Schools has teachers and administrators working with students to reinforce various subjects and to experience new concepts. In the photo, students in grades 7-9 attended the first Summer Code Camp at James Clemens High School. CONTRIBUTED

For summer break, MCS campuses remain active with varied camps, sessions

MADISON – Teachers and students alike look forward to summer break. However, the learning environment continues to flourish with numerous camps, learning programs and traditional summer school on campuses of Madison City Schools.

Early planning is a must for the sessions that students can attend during summer. In 2024, Madison Board of Education approved learning programs for students all the way back at its March 7 meeting. Eligibility is tied to student academic need.

The MCS Instruction Department arranged for a generous number of camps for English Learners or EL students. Midtown Elementary School hosted the Elementary EL Summer Camp, while James Clemens High School welcomed the Secondary EL Summer Camp.

For reading and math sessions, the Elementary Summer Learning Program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade met at Midtown. Classes were held on Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Middle-schoolers attended Summer School during June (3-27) in half-day classes. Students were invited to attend based on the greatest academic need. Courses offered included math and English for grades 6-8.

High School Summer School lasted longer, open from June 3 until July 18 at both Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools. Students have chosen from career prep, health, PE, government and economics.

Courses also available for credit recovery were English 9-12, biology, physical science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, algebra I with probability, geometry with data analysis, algebra II with statistics, world history, U.S. history I, U.S. history II, government and economics.

In addition, high school students could enroll in driver’s education and ACT bootcamp.

Elementary ESY or Extended School Year sessions were held at Columbia Elementary School. (ESY sessions are open to students in special education, if needed, for classes and related services.) Secondary ESY was open June 3-27. School board members visited during the Summer Learning Showcase on June 25.

One of the most popular and venerable summer camps in Madison is the week-long Camp Invention, which was conducted at Columbia Elementary. More than 140 campers in grades 1-6 spent an exciting week of STEM activities, with leadership by 10 MCS teachers and one from Madison Academy.

“Camp Invention’s 2024 theme, ‘Illuminate,’ was especially evident in Kristy Stundtner and Bethany Kachelman’s ‘Let’s Glow!’ module. Other modules were led by MCS teachers Heidi Clemons and Kasie Wilson, ‘Prototyping Studio’; Brittany Post and Sydney Chapman-Wilkes, ‘Operation HydroDrop’; and Rebecca White, ‘In the Game,’” MCS Public Relations Manager John Peck said.

Madison Academy’s Holly Ahlbin led a second section of “In the Game.” Wendy Tibbs, an original founder of the camp, directed the 2024 camp with assistance from Misty Farmer and Elizabeth Bero. Roxana Herschelman served as Camp Parent, along with six parent volunteers. Several Bob Jones and James Clemens students helped as volunteers, Peck said.

Camp Invention curricula focus on the development of creative, inventive-thinking skills, with no single right or wrong answer but a bigger focus on the process. Students learned through trial and error.

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