Skip to main content

Summer School at Chief Leschi builds skills

  • Author:
  • Updated:

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Summer means warmer weather, more time with family or
friends and, for a group of Chief Leschi students, an opportunity to
enhance their academic skills.

Summer school coordinator Joey Pelgrim said students have a dedicated group
of educators eager to assist them in the July program. "We have nine
teachers and eight paraprofessionals who are here for the students. They
are focusing on reading, writing, language and math for grades kindergarten
through eight, and a credit retrieval program for students in high

Teacher Linda Akins is working with first-and second-graders. "The students
will do daily math and reading fluency timings. Their timing scores will be
graphed so students can track their progress. The children really enjoying
watching their scores go up," said Akins. "Each day will be a steppingstone
toward learning vocabulary words, increasing accuracy and fluency, and
improving math skills. We will adjust their reading and math materials to
promote the greatest achievement," she added.

Eight-year-old Akilah Jackson is looking forward to reading more during the
summer. Animal books are her favorites. "Sharks, lions and zebras make the
books fun," said Jackson, whose other interests include painting and

Carolyn Nielsen has a class of 15. These soon-to-be third-and
fourth-graders will be practicing their comprehension, decoding and fluency
skills. Nielsen said she's using this summer school time as a type of
"reading camp."

Scroll to Continue

Read More

"The camp theme is one way to help students gets excited about being at
summer school. The most interesting part of this experience is watching the
gains the students make while they're here."

Discovering new words and increasing her vocabulary is intriguing to
student Victoria Cook. "My favorite word is 'No,'" said the sixth-grader.
"I like to say it to my brother." Cook is also excited to learn more
division during summer school and wants to read Harry Potter books during
the session.

High school students who want to make up credits have the NovaNet system
available to them. This computer-based online program offers a wide variety
of classes where students can do their work directly on the computer at
school or in their home. "The work is self-paced," explained teacher Sharon
Wheat. "The students are able to work at a faster pace and get more done
since they are working individually and not in groups." Wheat, along with
teacher MaryAnne James, will be working with the teens by explaining the
NovaNet process, providing guided practice and giving examples of different
types of problems and solutions.

Also offered this summer at Chief Leschi is the Gang Resistance and
Education Training, or GREAT, program. The training is intended to build
leadership skills, develop positive relationships between students and law
enforcement, keep kids busy by having fun and expand life skills to help
them in the future. Puyallup Tribal Police Officer Allan Gerking said the
program is aimed at students going into the sixth through eighth grades.

"The components to this training include conflict resolution, goal-setting,
career exploration and communication skills. We'll have some guest speakers
and hands-on sessions for team building, from Frisbee golf to playing some
basketball." Gerking said he appreciates the opportunity to offer the GREAT
program to these students. "It's the great relationship between our
Puyallup Tribal Police Department and Chief Leschi School that has brought
this program to the kids."