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HCS offers numerous summer learning experiences

Elementary, middle, and high school students were engaged this summer with a variety of summer learning experiences. Approximately 3,000 students participated in the programs.

Starting with our elementary programs, our traditional summer school program is designed for students who need continued exposure during the summer months to stay connected to academic content to help reduce regression and the length of time it will take to recoup any lost skills. The elementary summer school program served 1,078 HCS students in grades K-5. A total of 586 students were served at Andrews PreK-8 School and 492 were served at Phenix PreK-8 School. The educational component had a heavy focus on literacy that infused science and numeracy. The summer school theme was: “We Can Be Heroes”. Students were immersed in hands-on learning experiences to include technology-enhanced lessons, science experiments, and creative writing.

Another incredibly engaging enrichment program afforded to elementary students was the Arts and Literacy program. This was an ESSER grant-funded program that sparks creativity, using art, music, movement, and theater to make fun learning connections to reading and writing.

Nine elementary schools - Aberdeen, Armstrong School for the Arts, Cooper, Jackson Fundamental, Kilgore Gifted Center, Langley, Phenix PreK-8, Barron Fundamental, Christian, and Moton Early Childhood Center - participated this summer. Thirteen elementary schools held their programs on multiple Saturdays last school year. This summer, 540 students participated in 16 four-hour sessions and a total of 1,020 students participated in 16 four-hour Saturday sessions last school year. This arts integration program used lessons that included English Language Arts (ELA) power standards connected to art, music, theatre, and movement to enrich student learning. 

A Splash of the Arts! was a wonderful way to live up to our theme of One Community - One Transformation - Excellence with Intentionality. The Hampton City Schools fine arts department presented a free series in collaboration withArts for Learning and the Virginia Affiliate of Young Audiences to provide school-age children, their families, and the Hampton community with opportunities to interact with musicians, artists, actors, storytellers, dancers, and more. Each weekend had a different program and was supported by the Hampton History Museum and Downtown Hampton Development Partnership. This was an opportunity to choose from 30 hours of free arts education and entertainment programming. The events were held on three Saturdays in July. A total of 518 students and family members attended over the three weekends.

The 21st Century Summer STREAM programs helped combat learning loss over the summer by providing engaging and educational activities that keep students mentally active while learning concepts in math, language arts, and science. The summer program promoted a wide range of skills beyond academic knowledge including problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills – all of which are vital in today's world.

The Summer STREAM goal is to make learning mathematics enjoyable and meaningful. For example by combining hands-on activities with theoretical concepts that develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for mathematics. Lessons on the Halo Project from the Flying Classroom provided students hands-on experimentation as they discovered how gravity and air resistance interact through design and measurement. Students used "right brain" techniques when writing. This was beneficial as they engaged their creativity and imagination through writing. This incorporated techniques like mind mapping, visualization, drawing, and storytelling to stimulate the creative process.

Hands-on science lessons engaged students in active learning by enhancing their understanding and retention of concepts. For example the owl pellet dissection provided an interactive and multidimensional approach to learning, catering to various learning styles and promoting a deeper understanding of biology, ecology, and the natural world. 

Engaging with music production goes beyond simply creating music; it also offers a range of valuable skills and experiences that can positively impact their personal and academic growth. Students in 21st Century Summer STREAM were able to explore their musical ideas, experiment with different sounds, and create unique compositions that reflect their emotions and perspectives.

One of the biggest parts of the 21st Century summer program was celebrating learning through culminating experiences. These activities serve several important purposes and benefits for both students and the teachers. The students in middle school had the opportunity to showcase their 21st Century Build the Solar Go Kart and share their learning experience with the elementary students. 

Additionally, traditional summer school was held for middle school students. There were three core areas of focus: math, science and language arts. A total of 454 students participated in hands-on labs in science, reading, writing and vocabulary activities in language arts and out of the box lessons in mathematics.

Over 50 members of the Class of 2027 from Andrews, Eaton, Lindsay, Syms and Tarrant middle schools “geared up” during the GearUp summer college experience at Longwood University and Virginia Tech. This preview introduced students to college through a hands-on and STEM-centered lens, while they had the opportunity to build relationships with their peers and college mentors. Students also stayed in the dorms and dined in the cafeteria to get a real world taste of college. 

The Academies of Hampton hosted five summer learning experiences for students at the high school level. These included the following:

HCS partnered with the Flying Classroom and launched the Floating Classroom. The project is indicative of the transformation as 40 students came together across the division to begin transforming a houseboat to a floating STEM+ lab building community while developing a marketable skills set. 


A total of 171 rising ninth graders participated in an eight-day immersive Summer Career Camp delving into the realms of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Central to the experience was a compelling driving question: How can ninth-grade students conceptualize, craft, and promote ingenious STEM-oriented items like edible food trains, slime, tie-dye t-shirts, bath bombs, and herb gardens, all destined for sale among their peers? The ultimate goal was to excel in a STEM product sales competition while unraveling the intricacies of innovation.

The Summer College Experience was a five-week early college experience for rising 10th grade students to help them see themselves in college through an early college experience. In collaboration with the Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC), this early college experience introduced college to 11 students, who may not have seen it as an option. Offering this five-week dual enrollment (DE) program to rising sophomores, who normally are one year away from participating in DE courses, kick-starts a college-ready mindset among students. 

The 2023 Summer Business Institute extended an invitation to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors to engage in a real-world industry challenge with students and teachers from their chosen academy. From July 10 to August 3, 2023, 122 students immersed themselves in this enriching experience that included collaboration and mentorship, industry field experiences, financial workshops, and guest speakers. Their goal was to tackle an actual challenge currently encountered by their respective business partners. In addition to this industry specific engagement, students also obtained OSHA certifications spanning general, public safety, and healthcare areas. Culminating the program, students presented their final products to business and community partners, and their own families.

Summer Bridge is a freshman summer transition program that introduces students to their upcoming high school by building community with their peers, educators, and community as students prepare for a successful upcoming school year. This year 684 students participated in Summer Bridge.

In addition, there were two other summer learning opportunities for secondary students. This year our fine arts department in collaboration with the language arts department presented the Summer Arts and Literacy Camp. Ten secondary schools participated in this summer program. The program leads with art, music, and theater using English connections. Theatre connected to English power standards. Music was connected to reading and writing. Visual art was connected to writing an artist's statement and giving and receiving critiques on their work. Each program culminated in a student-for-student showcase. A total of 342 students participated in this program this summer. The program will continue to build this school year and into next summer.