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GAPS plans big summer

GAPS plans big summer

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Greater Albany Public Schools district office

It takes a village to raise a child, and this summer Greater Albany Public Schools is rallying its village.

GAPS’ Big Summer will rely on community partnerships to provide activities and opportunities for children in grades K-12, free of charge.

The details, released on Monday, were alluded to during the last GAPS board meeting, where members shared their excitement and praised district administrators for thinking outside the box and creating opportunities for continued learning over a summer that follows a year of mostly online learning.

In March, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary released two rescued baby beaver sisters to their nursery which has been specifically created to be a wild haven for the animals, after years of work and development. The pair, named Barbara and Twiggy by the public, have been in the sanctuary for a month now, and have settled well exploring and building a shelter. A huge section of the Sanctuary’s woodland has been prepared for the beavers, encompassing all the elements that beavers need to live a happy and healthy life.

After the last day of school on June 15, the program, which spans several community organizations, will begin on June 20.

Linn-Benton Community College will be offering credit recovery and credit acceleration as well as enrichment classes.

The Albany Parks and Recreation Department traditionally has summer programs for kids at the community library and pool, but this year GAPS is footing the majority of the bill. It hasn’t been decided just yet how many of the programs available through local partners will be paid for by GAPS, but the district is using funds from Oregon Department of Education learning grants. 

ODE designated more than $200 million statewide for summer programs. Additional information on how much GAPS will be covering and for which programs will be released in the coming weeks. 

"We are partnering with our community agencies to assist in providing these programs by providing funding support for our students," said GAPS spokesperson Andrew Tomsky.   

Also on the list of partners is the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club of Albany and OSU Kidspirit.

Additionally, between July 12 and Aug. 12, GAPS will run its K-12 summer academic program with provided meals. According to GAPS, the program will focus on academic enhancement and enrichment activities. Individual schools in the district are creating their specific programs and may have varying days and times. Additional information is expected soon.

Currently, GAPS is considering possible transportation to and from school and community programs this summer as well.

Registration information for Big Summer will be sent to families by the end of May.


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