To prevent the "summer slide" and keep kids involved when school's out, the Pasco school district is considering creation of new fee-based specialty camps.
It has asked parents to help inform the types of sports, activities and interest areas should be offered. To do so, it launched an online "thought exchange" for families to offer ideas and rate others.
"The more thoughts you rate, the clearer the priorities are for our program," director Mary Grey said in an introductory video.
In its first days, the survey received hundreds of recommendations, including life skills classes, elective courses for credit, hands-on science projects and cooking classes.
"Anything other than test prep and academics," one parent wrote. "The kids are being crushed with the standardized test prep and boring curriculum in all the grade levels during the year. Let them have fun."
Grey said the goal is to come up with programs for students of all ages. They'll likely run two to four weeks, and could differ by part of the county, depending on responses.
"We have our PLACE programs, and we actually call it Camp WOW because we want kids to feel it has a more camp-like atmosphere. But they come all summer for child care," she explained. "We're looking at other options for families who do not need specifically child care… on a daily basis. We're just looking to find other ways for kids to be engaged over the summer."
The thought exchange continues through Friday. Participate here.