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2,300 still in school for summer
Summer school Ceres
Karla Robles creates her own pinata in Ana Arellano’s summer school class at Lucas. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres Unified is offering summer school courses at 19 different school sites with 2,300 students enrolled in the district’s elementary program.

Approximately 150 teachers are providing instruction.

“Our program has grown in numbers over the years,” said Dallas Plaa, coordinator of educational options for Ceres Unified. “The parents love all the opportunities we have for their kids.” 

The summer session for elementary students got underway on June 5 and ends on June 29.

There are four class periods each day. First period (Science or Social Studies) runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Second period (Math & English Language Arts) runs from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Third period (Enrichment) runs from 12:25 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. Fourth period (Enrichment) runs from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.

“Every year, teachers submit enrichment plans to me,” Plaa said. “It has to have a literacy component. I look them over, approve them and go through the process of ordering all the supplies they need.”

Parents have a list of over 100 enrichment activities to choose from when selecting their children’s electives.

“I taught summer school when I was a teacher,” said Plaa, who’s worked for Ceres Unified for 14 years. “There wasn’t this much flexibility and creativity. It’s good to see kids have fun with academic learning.”

Lucas Elementary offers seven enrichment activities, including Traveling with Chromebooks, Piñatas, Coding, Nutrition, Art, Readers Theater and Piktochart.

First- and second-graders learned about the history of piñatas before using a mixture of flour and water, balloons, newspaper and tissue paper to create their own in Ana Arellano’s third-period class.

Karla Robles, Reyanthony Rojas and their classmates put the finishing touches on their projects last Friday.

“My own background inspired me to teach the kids about the Mexican culture,” Arellano said. “They’re interested and engaged. They keep asking questions.”

“This is my second time making a Pinata,” Robles stated. “I’m going to hang it at my house.”

“It was fun decorating it,” Rojas added.

Summer school Ceres
Sariah Chavez, Luna Ramirez and Jaime Ayala participate in a dramatic reading in class. - photo by Dale Butler