Summer School Kickoff

Student with a blacklight
Summer School Gets Cooking

It’s not clear what students in teacher Ishmael Simmons’ cooking class expected, but a black light wasn’t it. 

Simmons had just pumped a couple of squirts of Glo Germ into their hands before snapping off the light and pulling the black light out of his pocket. One by one, students were grossed out by the simulated germs on their hands. Then headed to the sink to wash with soap and water before another pass of the black light showed them how well they washed. 

“You should wash your hands for 20 seconds under water as hot as you can stand,” Simmons said, as he explained how important proper sanitation in a kitchen can be. 

Then the students got to cooking.

“We’re going to make America’s Favorite Grilled Cheese,” he said. 

“I’ve seen my mom make grilled cheese so I might be an expert,” one student said. 

The class was one of the dozens that started off the first day of Summer School in the School District of South Milwaukee.

Summer school in the district is a combination of extra help for elementary and middle school students to get on grade level, credit recovery courses so high schoolers can be sure they’ll graduate on time, and enrichment classes for elementary and middle school students to pick up a new skill, like cooking.

There are roughly 2,700 students in South Milwaukee. This year about 1,000 are back in the classroom to take advantage of summer programming, which runs from 8 a.m. to Noon, four days a week until July 28. 

“It’s important for us to keep working with the students who might need some help to stay on track,” Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Weiss said. “But it’s also a great opportunity for our teachers to share their skills and for our families to have quality programming in the summer. Combined with our Recreation Department’s summer camps and athletic programming, South Milwaukee families have a lot of great options to keep their children learning in the summer.”