In 2004, Oak View Elementary School was one of the first in the county to offer a kindergarten summer bridge camp program funded though First 5 San Joaquin County. The camp is a weeklong session that allows incoming kindergarten students to meet their teachers and peers, as well as become familiar with basic rules and procedures.
“The bridge camp is very helpful to our incoming kindergarten students, especially the ones who have not attended preschool. We tackle issues that typically come up during the first week of school ahead of time, so that we can hit the ground running with academics once the school year begins,” says Heidi Nelsen, who has been teaching kindergarten at Oak View since 2002.
Heidi Nelsen, Nellie Van Egmond and instructional assistant Katie Highfill will welcome approximately 40 kindergartners from July 25 to 29 at the 2011 Summer Bridge Camp. The camp runs daily from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and includes bus transportation.
During the camp, the teachers assess each student academically, socially and behaviorally. Students focus on cutting, writing, letters, shapes, colors, gross motor skills and art. The students also take a tour of the school grounds and meet the principal, vice principal, bus drivers, secretaries and kitchen staff. In the past, when funding is available, they were served a cafeteria lunch which allowed them to become familiar with the cafeteria lunch time procedures and environment.
The 2011-2012 Oak View Elementary School year begins on Aug. 18. Over the years, kindergarten enrollment has remained fairly consistent, filling between two and three classes. In 2006 the kindergarten day was extended from four hours to five hours, and in 2010 it was extended to a full-day class coinciding with first through eighth grade.
Oak View has been able to continue with class-size reduction, with classes not exceeding 20 students in grades kindergarten through third grade, as well as having part-time instructional aides in all primary classrooms.