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Summer enrichment classes replace old summer school in Plano

Where can you find someone to watch your child during the summer for $1.25 an hour – which includes taking them to and from the sitter and giving them breakfast and lunch? And while they’re with the sitter, they are learning new things from a Plano school teacher.

Well, if your children are students in the Plano schools, these things are available to you and them.

School Superintendent Dr. Hector Garcia said this is today’s version of summer school – something that used to imply a program for students who fell behind during the regular school year.

This is no longer the proper description of summer school, but the word is not out to everyone because only about 10 percent of the eligible students have been enrolling, he said.

This is probably because students are still reminded of the way summer school used to be, he said. The new programs are replacements for the former summer school and are available for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

At the Jan. 22 Plano School District 88 Board meeting, Dr. Tracy Thurwanger, director for teaching and learning, presented information to the board regarding the Summer Enrichment Program and the Extended School Year program.

Students in kindergarten will receive kindergarten readiness classes and those in grades one through three will be working with Lego STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and literacy classes, he said. These students will be served breakfast at 7:30 a.m., take classes from 8 a.m. to noon and be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. after lunch.

Grades four through eight will be in school from 7:40 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., which will include breakfast and lunch. Garcia said they will be in invention classes from 8 to 10 a.m., in elective classes from 10 a.m. to noon, have lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m., and attend a theater/sports camp from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

High school students will be meeting from 8 a.m. to noon. Classes will vary depending on what students sign up for, he said. They will include four AP classes – literature, Capstone, language and humanities – and a driver’s education class.

Students who may need help with other subjects will be able to take credit recovery classes all five days of the week, Garcia said.

Kindergarten through third grades will meet at the P.H. Miller School and grades four through 12 will meet at Plano High School.

The total cost for grades one to three is $1.25 an hour or $125 total. Grades four through eight will be $1.25 an hour or $175 for the summer. The cost for high school will be $50 for the academic enrichment classes, $75 for the credit recovery classes, and $250 for driver’s education.

The cost to the school district for all classes will be $41,080, which includes $38,580 for staff member salaries, and $2,500 for supplies and tuition costs. It is estimating revenue of $39,750 from student registrations.

Garcia said officials hope to receive grants totaling $100,900. This includes $12,300 for transporting students to and from school.

Thurwanger said the district has established a partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame ( for this year’s fourth- through eighth-grade summer curriculum.

She said Camp Invention for grades four to six and Project Invention for grades seven and eight enable students to explore the edges of innovation and imagine the possibilities through dreaming, designing, engineering and building.

Students are challenged to create original inventions while also considering principles of business, such as rapid prototyping, market research, shipping and profit, she added.

“Inspiration floods forth as participants are virtually introduced to some of today’s greatest thinkers, inventors, and entrepreneurs,” she said. “Students will meet Collegiate Inventors Competition Finalists and Winners, as well as National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, through personalized video challenges. Young minds will brainstorm solutions to these challenges and push their ideas to the next level.”

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