Hancock Schools prepares for summer learning programs

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Superintendent Steve Patchin discusses the Northern Lights Summer Learning Program, which is scheduled to begin the third week of June.

HANCOCK — As Hancock Public Schools draws closer to the end of the semester, the administration is looking ahead to the summer school program.

At the regular monthly Board meeting on Tuesday, Superintendent Steve Patchin said the administration will launch, within the next two days, a search for middle and high school teachers.

“The search for teachers will be local, outside the area,” Patchin said. “The carrot is (out of area) teachers can reside at Finlandia University’s residential halls for free during the eight-week summer school period.”

Patchin said the university is charging the school district approximately $125 a week per person, the costs for which will be rolled into the grants to received from the state of Michigan.

Northern Lights Summer Learning Program

The program will be Monday-Thursday, from 9 a.m.-noon, and include lunch for all students. Sessions will begin June 21 and end Aug. 12.

“It’s going to be learning, but it’s going to be focusing on fun stuff,” said Patchin, “fun-type learning, group projects, working together; we’re going to have breakfast and lunch, obviously, on both ends of it.”

Regarding Elementary School, there will be art combined with learning, some structured interventions focused on reading, and the group projects, as well.

Middle School will focus on “catching up” with the key concepts in each grade, but in a fun way, returning to the group project idea, said Patchin, with different cross-curriculum activities.

“The teachers are going to have fun, too,” Patchin said, “because we didn’t want to make it like regular school. We want to make it more engaging and more collaborative, and let teachers do things they wouldn’t normall do during a regular school year.”

The high school program is structured differently, because it will be for credit toward graduation. The teachers will focus in on core concepts, said Patchin, similar to Michigan Technological University’s summer Track A and Track B.

“We are going to have a Track A and Track B in high school,” he said. “They will be in two four-week sessions, and one will be like half the year, and other one will be like the other half of the year.”

At Michigan Tech, the summer tracks were referred to as accelerated, but what they actually did was focus on the key core concepts, said Patchin.

“We’re collaborating with Chassell, Lake Linden, and the (Copper Country Intermediate School District), which is really good,” Patchin said, “I mean, I think that’s the first time that’s been done in this situation before.”

Patchin said the program is funneled through the state. The state supported funding for us to run the summer programs.

Northern Lights Adventure Program

Along with the Northern Lights Summer Learning Program, Patchin said Hancock Schools is offering another program, the Northern Lights Adventure Program, for students in grades 4-8 who are attending Hancock Public Schools, Lake Linden – Hubbell Schools, Chassell School, and the CCISD.

“This is a hundred kids, fourth grade through eighth grade,” said Patchin, “and we’re going to be taking them everywhere.”

Locations include:

– Houghton Skate Park

– Quincy Mine Tour

– Bare Bluff, for hiking

– Canyon Falls for hiking

– Pictured Rocks

– Lake of the Clouds

“There will be a lot of science in there, a lot of healthy living in there,” Patchin said, “but it’s really to get kids together and kind of explore.”

For example, with the Pictured Rocks Boat Tour, students will partake in a scenic boat tour that cruises the infamous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The two-hour tour consists of history and local area facts, as well as views of multiple rock formations, Grand Island, and the famous Miners Castle. This is definitely one of the most fascinating experiences Lake Superior has to offer.

Patchin asked how many kids live in this area and have never been to Pictured Rocks, or Lake of the Clouds, or the other places they will be taken during the program.

In addition to the places to visit, Patchin said the students will have have fishing lessons, go kayaking, and paddle boarding,

“It should be a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s going to be one day a week; I think it’s going to be every Tuesday for a couple of weeks, then move to Thursdays.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today