Gateway and USF Team Up for New Summer Program
Classes are officially in session at Gateway, where thanks to a new partnership with the University of San Francisco, our first first summer program is getting underway.
“We’ve wanted to offer summer programming for some time, but staffing and funding have been consistent barriers,” said Gateway’s Director of Schools and Partnerships Aaron Watson. “But partnering with USF means a lot of new things are possible.”
The program is designed for a cohort of 45 students who will be starting grades seven, eight and nine this fall, who can explore fun hands-on and project-based learning activities over four weeks while enjoying some of the peer socialization they missed out on over the past year. Each class is led by two USF student teachers who receive support from seasoned Gateway educators, making the program a win-win both for the students who participate in the program and the teachers-in-training who receive valuable classroom experience and mentorship.
This summer, the program is designed to emphasize peer connection, collaboration, and excitement about going to school in-person again, with lots of opportunities to practice the social and emotional skills that will be crucial as students transition back to a conventional school day.
“Young people are so resilient, seeing them come back to school and pick up where they left off is inspiring. They are laughing, socializing, building community, and re-engaging with in-person learning in such a special way,” said Erin Hartfield, Site Director of the summer program and an Academic Interventionist at GHS. “The student teachers have shown great understanding and flexibility in allowing them space to socialize and learn actively given our past year in distance learning.”
While the program is limited to three grades this year, next summer could potentially be an opportunity to engage additional students or include students from additional grade levels.
“In a lot of ways we see this year as a pilot,” said Aaron. “Obviously there’s a tremendous need this year, but this is something we’d love to expand and offer to more students in the future.”