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6/2/2017 9:08:00 AM
School buildings sleepy over the summer? Nope
Ed Langlois/Catholic SentinelChildren prepare to perform a play during a theater camp last summer at Holy Cross School in North Portland.
Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
Children prepare to perform a play during a theater camp last summer at Holy Cross School in North Portland.
Courtesy Valley Catholic SchoolMusic camp is one of the offerings on the Valley Catholic campus over the summer.
Courtesy Valley Catholic School
Music camp is one of the offerings on the Valley Catholic campus over the summer.

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Once classes are out for summer, Catholic school buildings still get a workout, whether it’s for summer sessions, sports and drama camps, deep cleaning or big maintenance projects and renovations.

What happens in the summer at St. Agatha School in Southeast Portland is a little busier than average, but mostly typical. Maintenance supervisor Tony Medina cleans rooms, floors, gym, roof and grounds. Workers will install a new playground, put fresh stain on cedar siding, paint the interior, repair windows, replace gutters and put in a new key card system. Cement experts will work on the sidewalks.  

St. Agatha, in the popular Sellwood district, rents space over the summer to Saturday Academy, a non-profit offering day camps for talented and gifted children and those interested in birds, medicine and even solving crime.    

St. Mary’s Academy downtown offers a summer Kindness Camp for children ages 8-12. It will cover conflict resolution, how to make and keep friends and inclusion. St. Mary’s hosts other camps and academics for middle schoolers and high schoolers. Adventures Without Limits bases an outdoor program from the academy that includes hiking, climbing and kayaking. Saturday Academy uses the building for community experts — many from Portland State University — who teach science and technology, primarily. There also are classes in creative writing, math, photography and even yoga. Fashion courses, acting camps, driver’s education and sports camps are part of the St. Mary’s summer. Maintenance crews spiff up the building and administrative staff catch up on paperwork, but look forward to the return of students.  

Central Catholic High School this summer is offering a selection of academic credit classes, enrichment courses and Saturday Academy classes — most for students in grades six through 12. Selections include math, study skills, language arts, physical education, science, technology and even theology. One session explores comics and graphic novels while another teaches sign language. Central Catholic also offers classes in music.      

Jesuit High on the Portland-Beaverton border holds a five-week academic summer session that enrolls 500 to 600 students on average. Athletic camps in most sports run from the time school lets out.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and Oregon Driver Education rents classrooms over the summer.

The school gets spruced up, including work done by students as part of their financial aid package.
“We’re very intentional about not overburdening our personnel and facilities during the summer months,” says Khalid Maxie, dean of students and security at Jesuit.

In Salem, Blanchet Catholic hosts athletic and academic day camps. Basics and advanced tips in volleyball, football, soccer and basketball are combined with classes in math. Summer at Blanchet also means maintenance, updates and upgrades.   

Academics, athletics and the arts are taught according to the traditions of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon at Valley Catholic School in Beaverton. Field trips and enjoyment on the large campus are part of the summer sessions. The Valley Catholic Music School will offer a summer music camp June 26-30. Athletic camps are set for boys and girls basketball, volleyball and boys soccer. All are led by varsity coaches, staff and players.

This summer, Regis High School in Stayton will be receiving almost $80,000 worth of furniture for a new science, technology, engineering and math lab.  

Summer is the time for spiffing and shining at St. Clare School in Southwest Portland, but maintenance teams need to work around camps for creative and energetic kids. Both sports and craft camps are set. As at many parishes, the school is home to a summer religious education week — also known as vacation Bible school. It’s set for July 24-28, 9 a.m.-noon.

In addition to a deep cleaning of the entire building, Holy Cross School in North Portland hosts two camps: vacation Bible school and a theater camp run by local high school drama students.
At St. Cecilia School in Beaverton, emphasis will be on maintenance, upgrades and special projects, plus camp time thrown in for good measure. The Vermont Hills Family Life Summer Camp is set, but another camp that usually takes place is being set aside for this year to focus on big-ticket items like refinishing the gym floor. School officials hope to break ground on a new turf field and running track as part of an expanded playground. Donors at the recent auction gave more than $70,000 for the project. The speed of the Beaverton permit process will dictate whether the project gets done over the summer. “We are hopeful. Extra prayers and fingers crossed,” says Sue Harris, the principal.
All Saints Parish in Northeast Portland hosts venerable Steve & Kate’s Camp, which helps kids pursue their passions in sports, music, cooking, fashion and computer coding. It’s been in motion for 37 years.

St. Rose School in Northeast Portland holds a weeklong event, Glad Days, the last week of June. Scripture stories and fun are part of the sessions, which take place in the morning.
The school’s gym teacher offers a sports recreation camp in the afternoons of the same week. An all-day physical education fun camp is set for mid-July and music and art camp is set for the week of Aug. 7. In the plans is a language camp.

The rest of the summer will be taken up with cleaning and maintenance.  

The Madeleine School in Northeast Portland always hosts a massive summer yard sale to support a Catholic school in Haiti. This year, workers will revamp the playground, remodel two bathrooms, and install a kiln for the art program.

“We’re doing a great deal of cosmetic renovation and mild upgrades for our 40th anniversary in September,” says Michael Winning of Franciscan Montessori Earth School.

The Southeast Portland campus hosts summer camps for children ages 3-12, plus gardening and outdoor clinics for neighborhood children.

Samoan and Filipino communities use the facilities, as do the Friends of Powell Butte.


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