FULTON — Fulton school leaders recently celebrated a successful summer of fun and learning through the district’s variety of unique programming.

Fulton City School District Executive Director of Instruction and Achievement Daniel Carroll this week reported on summer programming and highlighted its well-received activities.

“We wanted to make sure kids had fun and felt welcome in our buildings with each other in advance of returning to in-person instruction,” Carroll said at Tuesday’s board of education virtual meeting.

Throughout the summer, FCSD’s K-2 Bridges to Success, grades 3-4 Bridges to Success, grades 5-8 Community School Program, GRB Institute, and Special Education Extended tended School Year Services programming netted the attention of 460 FCSD students, or roughly 16 percent of all students, Carroll said.

Carroll said these opportunities were made possible through state and federal funding the district was awarded earlier this year.

Throughout this year, FCSD was approved to receive $14.5 million through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan. The district also was awarded an additional $294,440 through the state Department of Education’s Extended Day Grant. Although the district has been awarded the money from both sources, it has not yet received the money.

According to the district leaders responsible for the respective student groups, the programming gave students a fun way to improve their skills and further prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.

“I had a wonderful experience,” said Kelly Gates, K-2 Bridges to Success program supervisor. She highlighted the “family atmosphere” the staff and children had during the program.

“We had lots of fun and many of the staff shared how kindergarten students got a school experience before entering kindergarten,” Gates said.

Michelle Briggs, supervisor of the grades 3-4 Bridges to Success program, said the staff and students had a “great time.” She also highlighted how the “kid interactions” were the best and most rewarding part of the experience.

According to district officials, the Bridges to Success programs are “summer camp-style” activities designed to address pandemic-related learning gaps and promote school readiness and engagement and social-emotional well-being with a focus on literacy, math and other subjects.

Carroll said plans are in place to return the Bridges to Success programs to FCSD students for at least the next four years.

FCSD students in grades 5-8 took part in the Community School Program offering an interdisciplinary, theme-based learning experience, according to district personnel. Program Supervisor Caitlin Toleno said this year’s activities were themed after the Summer Olympics.

“Our students got to go down to the track and (for) math got to measure the track out. In science they got to determine why the runners started at different places, and they went to humanity classes and researched some great track and fi eld athletes from the Olympics across the years,” she said.

Carroll said this program was slated to return in the future as well with a different theme.

Offered to high school students for the first time over the summer was the GRB Institute. It is a program lasting multiple weeks that includes high-interest mini-courses in niche subjects such as photography, coding, coding book creation and more.

“After being virtual, registration was open to students in grades 9-12. We had 79 students register for classes and participate,” GRB Institute Supervisor Amy Stephenson said. “Many students enrolled in more than one session, and many were taking all six sessions. We saw students having fun while also learning new skills.”

FCSD Superintendent Brian Pulvino said the programming offered to students was a “great step” as the district transitioned back into fully in-person learning after a hiatus due to the pandemic.

“I just want to extend my appreciation for Miss Gates, Miss Briggs, Miss Toleno and Miss Stevenson, all the teams that worked with all the students this summer,” Pulvino said. “You did a great job and there was a lot of positivity.”

For more information, visit www.fultoncsd.org.

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