Supt Column - Art, STEM, World Language Classes Among Wausau School District's Summer Options

Supt Column - Art, STEM, World Language Classes Among Wausau School District's Summer Options
Posted on 05/03/2018

Michael Schwei
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
May 1, 2018

Snow is still melting in Wausau, but summer will be here soon! Students will be able to participate in the Wausau School District's 2018 Summer Learning Program to be held from June 11 through July 19.

Each summer, thousands of students in the Wausau School District enroll in academically enriched programs, and each year, the district continues to improve and expand its summer learning classes. This year is no exception, as we are offering a variety of academy programs at the elementary level.

Art Academy programs will focus on drawing animals with various media in third grade, creating landscapes with various media in fourth grade, and exploring portraiture with various media in fifth grade. Each of these academies also will teach art history. Students will learn creatively and have fun.

STEM Academy programs will give students in third through fifth grades a chance to explore science, technology, engineering and math using a Project Lead The Way curriculum, which is a pathway to the middle school PLTW Program. Specifically, third-graders will learn about flight, forces, variation of traits and programming. Students will use a variety of apps and technology to solve real-world problems.

Fourth-graders will learn about structures, energy, mechanisms and their relationships to the real world. Fifth-graders will be introduced to design, structures, problem solving and coding. Students will code through video game software, and they will program RedBots. These STEM Academy programs are designed to be hands-on and engaging for students.

The World Languages Academies program for grades three through five will explore the cultures and languages of Spanish-, German- and French-speaking countries. Students will be immersed in themes including food, sports, hobbies, music, geography, holidays and customs while learning to speak the languages. These academies prepare students to be global citizens and to gain appreciation for diverse cultures and peoples.

There are also summer learning opportunities for students in grades six through 12 through WAVE, or Wausau Area Virtual Education. Students may take up to two courses during the summer. WAVE is a collaboration between the Wausau School District and Wisconsin Virtual School, a leading provider of online education in the state. WAVE is a tuition-free, virtual charter school that offers full-time enrollment to students in grades six through 12 who live within the state of Wisconsin.

The Wausau School District has been planning its 2018 Summer Learning Program since the 2017 program concluded. Our mission — to advance student learning, achievement and success — is always in season.

Michael Schwei is the interim superintendent of the Wausau School District.