Zillah Middle School


Tammy Lewis

1301 Cutler Way
Zillah, WA 98953

21st Century at ZMS Summer 2015

The students selected to attend summer program were a diverse group of students. Most were in need of credit retrieval to progress to the next academic grade; however, there were a few who attended to support friends. We were able to use an online academic program; which met the needs of the students—whether it was in reading, writing, math and/or social studies, each student was able to progress to the next academic grade. Students participated in book clubs reading a book and discussing the story with staff and other students. Students were able to work online with the support of staff and ‘elbow’ buddies (fellow summer school students). Each of these students developed ownership of their learning through note taking, research, and analyzing their knowledge and how it applies to what they are learning during summer school. Students worked through math equations, becoming familiar with math language and began to develop a system to answer questions…using prior knowledge and how it applies to new equations.

Each week students also participated in a leadership ‘challenge’; whether it was a visit to CWU to see the university or participate in the Ropes Challenge Course…each student made an attempt to go further than they had and challenge themselves as an individual; while still working as a team. We were also able to visit the Zillah Fire Station and talk with various community members who work as either volunteers or paid members of the fire station. Students were able to try on the fire apparel, get in and ‘work’ a fire truck, talk with paramedics, fire station crew, and fire men to get a look at what it takes to be a fireman/woman. Finally, students were able to attend a Mariner’s baseball game and visit EMP. Only 2 of our students had ever been past Yakima, so this was an adventure for them all. Students were surprised at the height of the buildings, the homeless, the structure of Safeco field, and the amount of people who live in the city.

Overall, the summer program was a success. Students worked hard in various activities during the program…math, reading/writing, social studies. Students worked together to support others; whether it was academic support, friendship and/or team building. Students cooked healthy meals from the garden (which died in the heat ☹). Students participated in field trips to gain exposure to the world around them.