Nampa invests in summer school for migrant kids

NAMPA — Incoming Skyview High School freshman Esther Castaneda knows that education is the key to achieving her dream — she wants to be a fashion designer.

For three weeks this summer, Castaneda is sitting in a classroom at Endeavor Elementary School working to improve her English and math skills during Nampa’s migrant summer school program.

Esther Castaneda
Esther Castaneda

“I’m taking an extra step to follow my passion in fashion designing and modeling,” Castaneda said.

Castaneda is a child of a migrant worker. It’s not uncommon for migrant children to lose months of learning because of moving around as their parents search for work. Migrant work is heavily tied to agriculture and fishery, which are seasonal.

The summer school program is optional and enrolls 100 migrant students of the 223 in the Nampa School District. Students must qualify to be part of the migrant program. Summer classes are small, up to 10-15 students with a teacher and teaching assistant.

“These students don’t always get the help that they need,” said Alejandra Howell, a summer school teacher. “This is a time to refresh and apply new skills for the students.”

The summer program is federally funded specifically for migrants and is open to students from pre-K through eighth grade.

The classes focus on language arts and math, but also feature Camp Invention, a nationwide summer enrichment where teachers use hands-on problem solving curriculum to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“It’s about the bigger idea and real-world skills,” said Howell. “As a teacher, I want the students to think about building, design and engineering — 21st century jobs that are available.”

Forty-three Idaho school districts receive funding for migrant students.

  • Aberdeen School District
  • American Falls School District
  • Blackfoot School District
  • Bonneville School District
  • Boundary County School District
  • Bruneau-Grand View School District
  • Buhl School District
  • Caldwell School District
  • Cassia County School District
  • Dietrich School District
  • Emmett School District
  • Filer School District
  • Fremont County School District
  • Fruitland School District
  • Glenns Ferry School District
  • Gooding School District
  • Hansen School District
  • Homedale School District
  • Idaho Falls School District
  • Jefferson County School District
  • Jerome School District
  • Kimberly School District
  • Kuna School District
  • Madison School District
  • Marsing School District
  • Melba School District
  • Middleton School District
  • Minidoka County School District
  • Mountain Home School District
  • Murtaugh School District
  • Nampa School District
  • New Plymouth School District
  • Parma School District
  • Payette School District
  • Shelley School District
  • Shoshone School District
  • Snake River School District
  • Twin Falls School District
  • Vallivue School District
  • Weiser School District
  • Wendell School District
  • West Jefferson School District
  • Wilder School District