Our attendance follows somewhat predictable cycles, including a trend for lower attendance during the summer months. That only makes sense. There are times when it can seem like we get only four or five days of summer here in Michigan, so folks want to take advantage of every spare second of nice weather. Unfortunately for many of us, our jobs get in the way of spending every day at the beach or cottage so we have to cram all of our summer activities into a few precious weekends.
This being the case, we’ve had a gut instinct for some time now that we’d be available to more young people in the summer months if we were open on weekday evenings rather than on weekends. We recently confirmed our suspicions by surveying our list of fifth through eighth grade parents. As a result, we’ll be instituting a new summer schedule beginning with the second week of June. From then until school resumes in the fall we’ll be open on Wednesday evenings for 7th and 8th graders and Thursday evenings for 5th and 6th graders, from 6 pm to 9 pm on both nights. As we have in the past, we’ll discontinue our hours for senior high students during the summer months. From this point forward we’ll maintain two consistent schedules of operation: our current hours during the school year and these new hours for the summer months. The new summer schedule begins on Wednesday and Thursday, June 11 and 12.
As we did last summer, we’ll follow the lead of local school districts when it comes to advancing students, meaning that we’ll ‘graduate’ students to their next grade at the conclusion of classes this spring. This means that students who complete the 4th grade this spring will be considered 5th graders when school ends and will be allowed to begin visiting our facility on Thursday, June 12. Current 5th graders will be considered 6th graders when school ends and will also attend on Thursday evenings.
Current 6th graders will be advanced to 7th grade when classes end this spring and will attend on Wednesday evenings beginning on June 11, along with current 7th graders who will be advancing to 8th grade. Further, since we suspend high school hours for the summer, we’ll allow existing 8th graders (freshmen in the fall) to continue to attend throughout the summer on Wednesday evenings.
We recognize the fact that not everyone loves change. But change with a purpose is a good thing, and we believe this new schedule will result in more young people staying connected to the community that has developed here. We trust that you’ll enjoy your summer – should it ever arrive – and that we’ll continue to experience the privilege of investing in your child!
– Stan, Executive Director