PBC School District: Home Projects Bring Summer Learning to Life

This summer, students are building their own miniature sports stadiums, performing science experiments, and meeting with teachers multiple times a week, all from home.

About 300 students are participating in virtual summer learning with the Palm Beach Migrant Education Program through the School District of Palm Beach County Multicultural Education department.

Each student received a backpack full of supplies for home projects. They get to show off their creations while meeting virtually with teachers several times a week.

“By being able to provide resources to their homes, they’re able to connect with printed materials and activities while engaging in online learning,” said Francisco (Harvey) Oaxaca, director of Multicultural and Migrant Education. “This has been a really good opportunity for us to work with students to continue building their language and academic skills.”

High school students in the program are practicing their reading skills by recording read alouds for elementary students, an activity that allows the high schoolers to earn community service hours.

About 1,500 students are also growing their English skills through literature, thanks to the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) virtual summer program.

Students in elementary, middle, and high school all received a graphic novel at home to read this summer, which they are then discussing in online literature circles with teachers and classmates.

Lessons in the program’s 60 Google Classrooms focus on language development, increasing vocabulary, and preparing students for standards in the next grade level. Educators are using tools such as Nearpod, Jamboard, Kahoot, and Flipgrid to make the lessons more interactive and engaging.

“We’re trying to stay as connected as possible to students and provide them with ongoing learning activities in ways that are meaningful to them,” Oaxaca said.

Students also meet twice a week with school counselors to support social emotional learning and prepare for the upcoming school year through activities such as one-on-one credit inventory discussions to ensure high schoolers are on track for graduation.

These summer programs have also offered Multicultural Education the opportunity to strengthen virtual programming overall and determine best ways to reach students in a distance learning environment.