ONTARIO — On June 28, the Ontario School Board of Directors met for its monthly board meeting, with all board members in attendance. During the meeting, Director of Federal Programs and School Improvement Anabel Ortiz-Chavolla gave a presentation regarding the summer school programs and their progression. In addition, she presented the board with a new opportunity — that of Ontario students getting the chance to work within the school district over the summer.

Ontario students get to paid to help

A grant from the Oregon Department of Education allowed the school district to hire high school students as a teacher’s aid for the summer school program in the month of July. Interested students had to go through a full hiring process. This included the application process, an interview and the following paperwork, if hired. The board approved the hiring list during the meeting.

In all, there were 25 students that were hired. Out of those students, they are spread out among the district, assisting in all five high schools. The students are required to be at least 14 years of age, to have no discipline referrals, to be on track to graduate, and to complete the application correlated with the process.

Youth summer camp

Ortiz-Chavolla said the school district was hosting a brand new program that she referred to as the youth summer camp, presented by the Four Rivers Cultural Center. She said the camp had different themes throughout the month-long program.

Each week showcased a new topic.

The first week was all about art. Students would get to learn more about the history of art, as well as create art of their own. The week course consisted of various different activities from learning about famous art and artists to creating and framing their own art.

In the second week, students had free time to explore their interests and to learn about a wide variety of career paths. Some of the activities offered during this week included origami, cooking/life skills, journalism and photography.

The focus of the third week was capturing culture, a theme which represented the differences between cultures. The students were able to learn about different cultures through activities that incorporated food, dancing, writing and history.

In the final week, students explored the history of their community. They visited the Four Rivers Cultural Center museum, as well as the Hikaru Mizu Japanese Garden, and were able to get the chance to learn about the history of the community.

Students got a chance to showcase their progress at an exhibit on June 30.

Outdoor summer school

The district introduced a summer school program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade that would be held at a few different schools in order to accommodate the students that would have to walk to the school. Ortiz-Chavolla said the program is intended to be a “walker program.” The program started in June and will end on July 30, the last day of summer school.

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