Middle school summer adventure

Seymour Middle School is offering a free, four-week summer school program to all incoming seventh- and eighth-graders and is looking for more students to sign up.

The Summer Adventure program runs from June 22 to July 17. Classes meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with transportation to and from the middle school along with breakfast and lunch provided daily at no cost.

The program accepts around 100 students and has openings for up to a dozen more, especially incoming seventh-graders, program administrator J.B. Royer said.

“We don’t have any trouble filling the eighth-grade slots up, because many of them came last year, had a lot of fun and want to do it again,” he said.

Last year, the district offered a Summer Challenge program. Before that, it was called Summer Advantage. It’s been made possible through financial support from Cummins Inc., Jackson County Education Coalition and Jackson County United Way.

During the mornings, students work to improve their math and language arts skills in preparation for the new school year. Afternoons are spent in enrichment classes.

All classes are taught by Seymour Community Schools teachers, mainly those who already teach at the middle school level.

On the first day, students will take a pretest of key concepts they should know at their grade level to determine what areas they need to work on, Royer said.

“We try to individualize instruction for each student, find their weaknesses and use a lot of small-group and technology-type instruction to drive them forward,” he said.

Since the ISTEP+ exam is no longer just a pass/fail test and the state requires students demonstrate growth, Royer said, being in the Summer Adventure program can help them achieve that growth.

The program is open to all students, not just those who are are behind academically, he added.

This year’s enrichment classes will involve mostly science, technology and engineering with a physical education class and one state and local history class to get students more involved with and interested in the upcoming bicentennial celebration.

Every Friday, students will take field trips designed to be fun, educational and interesting. Trips are being planned to Freeman Army Air Field Museum, the Jackson County Visitor Center, Southern Indiana Center for the Arts and the Jackson County History Center in Brownstown.

Students also will take a look at careers available in Seymour by visiting locations such as the hospital, local factories, the police station and courts.

Royer said the Summer Adventure program is successful at giving students the opportunity to excel.

“We had one boy who was so far behind that we didn’t think he would make it through the first nine weeks of school,” Royer said. “But after going through Summer Adventure, he went from not passing a single class last year to passing every class this year, including an A and two B’s.”

Besides helping students academically, Summer Adventure also gets incoming seventh-graders acclimated to the Seymour Middle School building, so they are familiar with it when they start school in the fall, Royer added.

At a glance

For information or to register for the Summer Adventure program, call 812-522-5453.

January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.