Extended Learning Summer School a Success
Anela Akana

St. Andrew’s Schools Extended Learning recently wrapped up summer school programs which began in early June. This year, there were new online class options for grades 9-12 that were available to both public and private school students. Students could enroll in iPriory online courses through the SAS Extended Learning Summer Program as well as Arizona State University Prep Digital (ASUPD) to earn high school and college credits. In-person courses were offered for those in grades K-8 at the downtown campus on Queen Emma Square. While summer school wasn’t without its challenges–students were challenged in the classroom and learned new strategies to make connections with their peers and teachers while learning to wear a face mask and practice good habits like washing their hands and social distancing. Overall, all classes ran successfully.

Alethia Donathan, Director of Extended Learning, worked hard to ensure that students had safe and rich learning experiences, whether online or in-person. “We began our summer with students eager to be back in the classrooms with teachers and friends,” she said. “The wonderful thing about summer school is that it’s more than just a place to spend their summer days–it’s also an experience that becomes a part of who each child is. It is learning and growing and having the strength and courage to stretch and be flexible and explore the world.”

In addition to faculty, Summer School was fully staffed with student aides offering support in the classrooms and play areas. Recent Priory graduate, Christy Kwok was one of the student aides. “Seeing kids so excited to see their friends each day is so heart-warming,” she said. “My most memorable moment of the summer was when I was assisting Ms. Souza. It was the week before graduation, and I had to leave early that week on Friday for the virtual Baccalaureate Ceremony on Zoom. When I was gone, Ms. Souza had the link and joined the ceremony on the tv in the classroom for the kids to watch!”

With summer school complete, Extended Learning has moved on to Summer Adventure Camp– a 4-week day camp offering theme-inspired activities for students in grades K-8. “We always end summer with an eye to the future, but I think it’s also important to take a moment to consider the joys and struggles of these past months,” says Donathan. “As I pause to reflect on it all, my heart is full of gratitude for our staff, for our students and particularly for you, our parents who have entrusted your children to us. Thank you for being an important part of our summer school program. We can’t wait to have you back again next year.”