Extended School Year Program Enters its 32nd Summer

Extended School Year Program Enters its 32nd Summer Photo

The Sachem Extended School Year Program was established 32 years ago to support the diverse needs of special education students within the district. Initially, the program was designed to provide the academic and social/emotional foundation that enrolled students need to successfully transition into the next school year but has since grown into something much more.

The students who attend the program are matched with some of the district’s most dedicated professionals and caring staff. Teachers, staff, parents, and students often refer to the program as the quintessential example of what the Sachem family is all about.

This summer, instruction in academics and life skills development in the SESY program has centered around the theme of safety. Students are being instructed in all aspects of staying safe – everything from playing in or near pools, being protected from the sun, and proper hydration, to traveling, personal, and stranger safety – is being integrated into their classroom and community-based instruction.

The talented and creative SESY staff have also incorporated STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) instruction into classroom lessons. Bree Bunse, a longtime SESY teacher, has brought the Next Generation Standards to the forefront this summer. For example, students have worked to advance their technology skills with iPads, 3-D printers and interactive computer software. They have also worked with K’nex, building three dimensional structures that combine engineering and creativity. The highlight of their STEAM work has been coding with colors and programing Ozobots to follow commands that they create using colored dashes.

Students in Jenny Lee Terzopoulos’ music classroom learned the importance of car passenger safety and the need to be prepared for an unexpected situation. The students also enjoyed listening to and singing along with such classical songs such as “Route 66,” “On the Road Again,” “Life is a Highway” and “Car Wash.”