By Tom Tolen /

Students in Brighton Area Schools who fell behind academically during the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on learning will have a chance to catch up and be ready for the start of the coming school year as part of a new program called “Kick Start Camp 2021".

BAS Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Elizabeth Mosher provided the Board of Education with an overview of the 2-week program at Monday’s board meeting. The camp begins on Aug. 9th and concludes on Aug. 19th. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8 and 11:30 a.m. at Maltby Intermediate School at Bauer and Brighton roads, the day started off with breakfast.

While it is a new program, Mosher says the district has offered similar programs in the past, and the Kick Start program was based in part on those experiences. She said, “The (COVID pandemic-related) events of the past year impacted (the) design and planning process for this year, but (the) focus was to include both learning in core fundamental areas and real application of STEAM-related concepts.” STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics, and is a program designed to provide the framework for students to learn how to think critically, solve problems and be more creative.

There will be 125 students in the program, organizers wanting the number limited to keep the student-teacher ratio at about 5-1. Some 23 certified teachers have signed up to teach the courses. Instructional coaches have also been hired to provide planning, resources, and support to teachers, and paraprofessionals also will assist. The camp will be for students entering 1st grade through incoming 8th graders, with academics focused on language arts, math, and STEAM content. Areas to be given the most attention were determined by reviewing test data.

Mosher says after evaluating the program, current plans are to continue it in future years “as an annual summer offering and to build additional program options.”