Summer courses help District 180 students catch up, build on knowledge
Haley Anderson of Willowbrook, Nicole Kozney of Burr Ridge, and Lashaun Collins of Willowbrook, giggle and hold on to a foaming bottle of dish soap, yeast and hydrogen peroxide as they make "Elephant Toothpaste." | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 15, 2012 1:52PM
WILLOWBROOK — Hypothesis is big word for a fourth-grader. But the students in Kristy Kiousis’ Weird Wacky Science enrichment class needed no explanation of its definition.
While making things bubble, change color and fizz, the students in Kiousis’ summer enrichment class at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School also learned about science, taking turns, working together and making decisions.
The class was one of more than a dozen classes and activities offered by Burr Ridge District 180 to keep students busy, happy and learning this summer.
LaShaun Collins, a member of Kiousis’ science class, also took the Kids Using Technology class.
“We made our own books and stuff. It was fun,” Collins, a fourth-grader, said.
Classes such as Fitness is Fun and art classes were offered in three sessions this summer as a complement to the school’s summer school program.
Anne M. Jeans Principal Cathe Smith said 15 to 20 students at each grade level participated in this summer’s six weeks of instruction, which ended Aug. 9.
“We had two weeks on and one week off,” Smith said.
During those three two-week sessions, children in kindergarten through seventh grade received three hours of daily instruction in reading and math. Smith said the instruction gives struggling students the extra boost they need to be prepared for the new school year.
After school, those children could stay for an enrichment class, also open to children who did not attend the summer session.
Third-grader Nicole Kozney of Burr Ridge participated in the Wii Sport Games class before signing up for Weird Wacky Science, where she and her summer classmates learned about bubbles, made elephant toothpaste and painted pet rocks.
She said the smaller groups and short day make summer enrichment classes more fun than regular school. She also met some new friends.
District 180 students are offered ways to keep busy during their weeks off summer school, too. Cheerleading and basketball camps were full, Smith said, and wrestling was popular.
“This place is a busy, busy place,” Smith said.
It could be even busier next year. Smith said she and other teachers have ideas for more opportunities for fun and learning next summer.