Letter from the Shasta Leadership Team
Dear Black Bear Families,
Welcome to summer break!! We are so proud of all our students and everything they accomplished this school year!!
As we head into our summer break, we are already preparing for the next school year. We are excited to be able to provide you with the school calendar and calendar of events on the first day of summer. The first day of school for new students will be Tuesday, August 13, and the first day of school for all returning students will be Wednesday, August 14.
Our teams have been working diligently to finalize all of the school year’s events to best support families to be a part of the school community, plan ahead for weeknight events, and to allow families to see the entire year at a glance. We would like to share some information and rationale about two major changes to the calendar for next year.
Change – Beginning of Year Camping Trip
From the inception of Summit Public Schools, creating strong relationships around shared values and common experiences has been, and always will be, a priority. One of the shared experiences that has historically been part of developing strong relationships is the student camping trip. Over the past few years we have heard important feedback from faculty and students as we have closely examined whether the camping trip is meeting our shared objectives. After careful consideration, we have decided that we will not host a student camping trip this year.
Through our evaluation, we came to understand that the camping trip was not consistently providing a smooth and strong start to the year. Specifically, we understand that being away from home and the inherent lack of sleep this trip involves, at such a busy and critical time, can be difficult. The teacher experience during this time has a direct impact on the the quality of our classrooms at the beginning of the year. Second, we are an organization that values inclusivity for all members of our diverse communities, and we strive to foster a sense of belonging for all students and families. For a wide variety of reasons, we understand that not all families are able to participate in overnight trips. Our goal is to provide meaningful experiences where all of our students and faculty are able to build valuable relationships. Given the challenges we have faced with participation in the camping trip, this original intent has become diluted.
What does this mean?
We still believe the camping trip is valuable experience and a tradition that makes Summit a special place; however, the trip is just one of many experiences we use to build relationships and community. We also believe that we can plan great experiences that will include all students and align with the values of our diverse communities. For the 2019-20 school year, student camping trips will be replaced with an experience that is reflective of our culture and values and meets the objectives in a non-overnight experience. Most of the rich and community building activities that took place during the overnight trip can and will still take place. As we strive to continuously improve the experiences for all students, we will take a step-back to think deeply about logistics and solutions to specific challenges of the camping trip in the future.
Change- All Study Trips in March
Another shift for next year will be around our philosophy for student study trips. Summit Public Schools has a long tradition of rich, real life learning experiences. The study trip was originally designed to both expose students to colleges and connect to their classroom experiences. As we are auditing our calendars and looking to make sure all student experiences map to our commencement level outcomes, we wanted to lay out our plan for study trips moving forward.
Study trips will be centrally planned by Summit Public Schools and include core experiences for students that connect to our outcomes. All study trips will also happen at the same time of year in March. Time on these trips will continue to be purposeful and students have a graduated experience that is developmentally appropriate. For grades 9-11, the purpose of these trip is for students to build community, offer an opportunity for mentors to go with students all on the same day without compromising a significant amount of instructional time, and provide students an entry point into college life, selection, and application. Students have an opportunity to see a selection of colleges before they make a decision. For 12th grade, because students are in the midst of finishing the year strong, the trip will be converted to an experience that aligns to the legacy and experience of ending the year. We want to ensure ALL seniors have an opportunity to attend this trip and we also want to plan a sustainable trip for senior mentors in a challenging time of year.
Logistics of the Trips:
- 9th grade: 2 day trips (back-to-back days)
- 10th grade: 2 days with 1 overnight
- 11th grade: 3 days with 2 overnights
- 12th grade: 1 day senior community building experience
Please reach out to us directly if you have any questions and we hope you have a fantastic summer!
Wren, Ava, and Adelaide
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