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PK- 7 Summer Scholars: Frequently Asked Questions

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PK- 7 Summer Scholars: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: May 13, 2021

See a PDF version of this FAQ.

1. When will I know if my child is accepted into our chosen Summer Scholars Academy?

Our summer team will send periodic emails to families to let them know their child(ren) is/are confirmed for one of our Summer Scholar academies. This email will simply confirm registration.

2. When will we find out more details about our summer scholar program, such as transportation, meals, schedules, etc.?

Further information should be sent out the first couple weeks of May (program details). Transportation information should be available during the second week of June.

3. What is the difference between Discovery and Learning and the GEMS/GISE STEM Academy?

Our Discovery and Learning Academy has a focus on literacy and math, through engaging classroom work and activities. Our GEMS/GISE STEM Academy focuses on Math and Science through project-based learning, via classroom work and activities. Super basic- please expand if needed.

4. How does the PreK (incoming Kindergartners) program differ from that designed for current grades K-4?

The PreK (incoming Kindergartners) programs- Discovery and Learning and GEMS/GISE focus on literacy, math, science and social emotional school readiness skills with engaging classroom work and hands on activities. The PreK curriculum is the same for all classrooms (Discovery and Learning and GEMS/GISE).

5. What does a typical day look like?

PreK: A typical day in High Five includes staff meeting your child at the bus or parent drop off, breakfast, large group read aloud, community building activity and large motor activity. Followed by active learning (children will talk, read, write and play in centers throughout the classroom), small groups focusing on literacy, math, science, etc. Lunch will be followed by recess and a quiet time. Math and Science activities will finish up their day and staff will bring the children to buses or parent pick up.

Discovery and Learning Academy: Students engage daily in integrated science and literacy lessons, math, music, art, physical education and participate in onsite and off-site field trips. Typically scheduled in the morning, students participate in math and literacy “workshop” experiences through large group, small group and independent work.

Afternoons could include extended project based learning time and/or specialists including art, Music, or PE.

GEMS/GISE/STEM Academy: GEMS/GISE (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science/Guys in Science and Engineering) STEM Academy helps students uncover the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a six-week, all-day program. Students participate in project-based and problem-based learning, using a hands-on and minds-on approach that integrates the skills of reading and math. Knowledgeable staff help immerse students in high- interest and rigorous STEM experiences designed to provide relevant, real-world connections and career explorations. Students have the option of participating in GEMS, GISE or combined groups. A typical day this summer will include all the above-mentioned opportunities, student engagement in outdoor learning spaces, active – investigative discovery, and a half hour of recess for students daily.

6. My child doesn't attend a Minneapolis Public School? Is my child allowed to attend?

PreK: No, your child must be an incoming kindergartner at a Minneapolis Public School.

K-7: If your child attends a charter school or other district public school, and you reside in Minneapolis, your child may attend our in-person learning academies for grade K-7. Additional documentation will be required from your child’s teacher. Our summer team will reach out to begin this process. If you live outside of Minneapolis but your child does attend a Minneapolis Public School, your child may attend but you must provide transportation.

7. If my child attends a charter school but doesn't have any academic needs, may they still attend?

As mentioned above, we do need feedback from your child’s teacher. If your child does require academic assistance, there are other areas that will qualify (social/emotional needs), such as practicing perseverance, maintaining positive relationships, etc.

8. May my child attend a half day of programming for Summer Scholars’ academies?

Virtual Academy students are able to choose between one to four available class times, thereby allowing flexibility for the student and their family. Discovery and Learning Academy and the GEMS/GISE STEM Academy require the student to attend the full day of scheduled programming.

9. My child needs to miss some of the summer scholar program due to vacation (or other reason). Is this okay?

Because of our project-based learning techniques, i.e. group work, we prefer that a student does not miss any time. We do understand, however, that things may come up (i.e. previously planned events). In this event, however, we do not want a child missing more than one week. Please notify your site when your child is absent.

10. Do I select an application based on my child's current grade or on their grade in the fall of 2021.

When choosing the appropriate application (especially important for current PreK, 4th, and 5th graders), choose based on your child’s current grade (even though we ask your child’s grade in the Fall of 2021). So a current Prek or 4th grader will choose the PK-4 application. A current 5th grader will choose the 5-7 application. A current 8th grader will choose the Fast Track application.

11. May I make a request that my child be placed in a class with a friend?

Yes, you may. We will do our best to honor these requests, however know that it is not a guarantee. Multiple factors may contribute to this decision, such as class size/availability, session time, etc.

12. Will students be placed in classrooms with other students from their year-long school?

PreK:  Current High Five students will be placed with peers from their classroom.

Discovery and Learning Academy: Students in classrooms will come from all sites assigned to the cluster location. So, classrooms will include peers and new friends to be made.

GEMS/GIST STEM Academy: Requests for being in a class with students from your home schools can be made by emailing SummerScholars@mpls.k12.mn.us . Students will have some students from their attendance area school in their classes. We will honor placement requests as we are able based on classroom and grade level availability.

13. Will the summer program be following the Covid19 protocols and guidelines as they do during the school day?

Yes, we will be following the same guidelines, which may be found here: https://b2s.mpls.k12.mn.us/COVID-19_Data_Dashboard

14. How do I make a later request, or changed request, for transportation?

You may email SummerScholars@mpls.k12.mn.us . Please be sure to include your child’s name along with their pick up and drop off address. Please know that the deadline for transportation for Day 1 is May 7thThe transportation deadline for Day 3 of programming (which means you’ll need to drive the first couple of days) is June 9th.14. 

15. Will a nurse be available at the summer academy sites?

Yes, we will have a nurse on site during our summer academies.

16. I see the GEMS/GISE locations of Lucy Laney and Pillsbury also listed on the Discovery and Learning application. Why and what is the difference?

Because our GEMS/GISE locations also offer literacy, math, and science options, you will find this listed under both academies. When you have completed a Discovery and Learning application for a literacy and/or math focus for Lucy Laney or Pillsbury, this will be highlighted on your child’s application. As such, our scheduling team will be sure to schedule based on your chosen focus area(s).

17. My child has an IEP. What does that mean for the Summer Scholars Academy?

We employ social workers for our summer academies. Our social workers will review your child’s IEP and work with the summer academy location to determine implementation of those needs. In some cases, it may be determined that your child is best suited in one of our ESY summer locations. In the event of this, our team will reach out to you. If your child attends a charter school or non-MPS public district (and you live in Mpls), please email your child’s IEP to: SummerScholars@mpls.k12.mn.us .

18. Do students in the elementary program get to select their classes?

Our in-person GEMS/GISE STEM Academy and Discovery and Learning for current grades PK-4 will not. Students will be scheduled a variety of course offerings. Students in our in-person GEMS/GISE STEM Academy for current grades 5-7, due to their large scope of offerings, will rank courses in order of preference during the application process.

Our Virtual Academy students, for current grades K-7, will rank courses in order of preference during the application process. There is no Virtual Academy for incoming kindergartners.

19. Are meals provided?

Yes, both breakfast and lunch are provided to summer scholars at no cost.

20. Is there a cost to participate?

No, there is no cost to participate in our Summer Scholars Academy.

21. Who do I contact if student is going to be out?

Please contact your summer location’s office to report absences.