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DCSS moves forward with summer goals

The Demopolis City School system has been busy this summer with an assortment of programs and projects.

The school system has many summer camp programs, most of which took place in June, that are held to encourage children to be a part of the community and to continue learning through summer vacation. Most of the enrichment programs are held at Westside, U.S. Jones, and Demopolis Middle School, which provide many children with an opportunity to participate. Some of the programs include the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, art camps at Westside and U.S. Jones, a photography camp at Demopolis Middle School, and a robotics camp at Demopolis and U.S. Jones. There is also a theater camp at the high school that involves all three schools.

Two different transition camps for incoming kindergarteners were held in June. These are two-week programs that help kids prepare for the school environment. Seventy children took part in the program. The school system has is also working toward a new Pre-K unit that will go even further in preparing younger children for kindergarten.

Teachers took part in professional development in June and will continue until the school year begins. A lot of teachers are involved in The Leader In Me initiative at Westside, which is designed to help educators bring out a child’s full potential.

Along with the summer programs, the school system has two big projects in the works at the middle school and US Jones. At US Jones, a sidewalk is being repaired, and an awning will be put up on the south side of the campus where fourth and fifth graders are picked up. At DMS, a new sidewalk and awning will be added on the west side of the campus where sixth graders are dismissed.

“At the middle school, if it’s raining during dismissal, instead of having three different areas where students carpool, we have to put them all in one area. It’s congested, and it’s chaotic,” said Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff. “By adding the sidewalk and the awning, it’s going to eliminate that.”

The school system gets capital outlay money every year to help with projects around campus and that money will go towards building the new sidewalks and awnings. The school also receives professional development funding for teacher training and teachers are paid a stipend to attend. The summer camps are funded by the three-year 21st CCLC federal grant.

“There’s a lot going on in the summer. A lot of people think we don’t do anything in the summer, but it’s the complete opposite. Summer is a very busy time for us,” Kallhoff said.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, July 5, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)