Summer School Gets WILD About Learning

Summer School Gets WILD About Learning

Students and teachers sing the WILD about learning chant during the summer school parent night.

Things got a little 'wild' at Columbia Elementary this summer. One hundred and twenty-two elementary students from migrant families attended the Wenatchee School District’s 'WILD About Learning’ four week summer school program. Funded by a grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the summer school program supports migrant students as they prepare to transition into a new grade by focusing on specific literacy and math skills.

District GLAD® trainers created customized wild themed curriculum that integrated animal-specific vocabulary and story-problem solving strategies through the study of three different biomes— Arctic, Ocean and Asian Forest. Students also took a trip to Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma where they could see the animals they were studying in person.

“I’ve taught in the summer program for as long as I can remember and it just keeps getting better every year,” said art teacher Chester Ferrell. Over time, more GLAD® strategies and project-based learning opportunities have been introduced into the program. GLAD® is a model of professional development dedicated to building academic language and literacy for all students, especially English language learners.

The 25 teachers and staff that made up the summer school team are highly motivated and trained in all the strategies used. Their experience enabled them to quickly dive into the content so the students received a rich and robust experience in just a few short weeks.

This year's theme, “WILD About Learning” was more than just a fun slogan. It served as an acronym for the program's values— Work together, Inspire others, Lend a hand, and Develop friendships. “I was honored to be the principal this year,” said Jennifer Devereaux. “I witnessed amazing growth in so many different ways with our students.” This was Devereaux's first year serving as the summer school principal. “I was inspired daily by students and staff as they walked in the door with smiles on their faces. I watched them lend a hand and help each other as they searched for answers.  And not only did they develop friendships with each other, but I developed new friends as well. This year was huge success and I can't wait for next summer.”

The following teachers and support staff made up the summer school team:


Kinder - Ely Orozco-Blanco
First Grade - Sandi Schmidt
Second Grade- Daniz Lopez & Tammy Savage
Third Grade - Brandy Martinez
Fourth Grade - Socorro Yanez
Fifth Grade -Lois Fraticelli & Heidi Boyle
Art - Chester Ferrell
Computer Lab - Fred Martinez
Library - Teri Goveia
Nurse - Juli Robinson
Principal - Jennifer Devereaux

Ed. Assistants and Office Staff

Kinder - Betty Fong
First Grade - Addie Goveia
Second Grade - Madi Dalbeck
Third Grade - Anita Sitio
Fourth Grade - Kami Sinko
Fifth Grade - Talena Morrell
Computer Lab - Ana Martinez-Verduzco
Library - Denise Dale
Office Manager - Lisa Maldonado
Office Assistant - Cindy Murie
Custodian - Phil Krahn
Special Programs Support Specialist -Tina Herron