Holley will run 4-week summer school program for students entering grades 1-9

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2021 at 9:45 am

More than 150 students are registered for ‘Camp Rising Hawk’

HOLLEY – For the first time in many years Holley Central School will be running its own summer school program.

There are 155 students registered for “Camp Rising Hawk,” a four-week program for students entering grades 1 to 9.

The district will be offering transportation, as well as breakfast and lunch for students in the program.

The camp runs for four weeks, and is four days each week, from Monday through Thursday. It starts July 19 and ends Aug. 12. The camp is from 9 a.m. to noon each day and students will work on English Language Arts, math and social and emotional learning. (Registration has closed.)

Holley has designed a program with many activities mixed in with learning, said Brendan Keiser, director of teaching and learning for the school district.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m excited and thrilled.”

Camp Rising Hawk will be “low-tech” without laptops and other devices. Keiser acknowledged many students need the extra work with classes disrupted from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is a lot of unfinished learning,” he said.

The district will need to continue working on that transition back to full in-person learning when the new school year starts in September, in particular with the social and emotional growth of students, Keiser said.

The camp is open to all students, but the district made extra efforts to reach out to families of students who had fallen behind academically. Many students who have been remote only for the past 15 months also will be part of the camp to help them get used to be back in an in-person school setting.

Brian Bartalo, the district superintendent, praised Holley teachers and other staff for stepping up and agreeing to be part of the summer program. Other districts have struggled to get staff for the summer schools, Bartalo said.

Holley has about 15 teachers for the program and other staff for Camp Rising Hawk.

“I feel extremely fortunate with our Holley staff members,” Bartalo told the Board of Education on Monday. “In other districts it’s been hard to find staff.”

The classes for the program won’t have more than 15 students. Students won’t have to wear masks at all times because they can be socially distanced.

The program will be held at the elementary school and will be in classrooms with air-conditioning.