Principal’s Corner: Reflections on our SummerTide Science Club
We thought this cold, windy winter day on Cape Cod was the perfect time to share memories of our summer experiential learning program. Every summer, the students at Latham explore Cape Cod and all it has to offer in our donor-funded SummerTide Program’s Science Club outings. Students learn math, science, and socialization skills through weekly off-campus visits to places such as Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Pleasant Bay in Chatham, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, and a student and staff favorite – Monomoy Island seal tours. Our Children’s Services teams all collaborate in this endeavor, including teachers, aides, nurses, clinicians, and cooks. They set expectations and make sure students are safe to travel, pack lunches with specific calorie counts, and med-trained staff help with mid-day medication distribution.
Each group learns about the ins and outs of the flora and fauna for that area, students record it in their Field Notebooks, and groups return to campus for discussions within the classroom setting. Our students take great pride in these Field Notebooks, and often take them home to parents and guardians during home visits. Some of the topics covered include summer tides, stewardship and caring for the planet, wetland plants, leaves (ex. edges and veins), signs of wildlife (ex. footprints, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, crustaceans, insects and arachnids), and field monitoring for water and soil quality.
SummerTide is funded through the generosity of the Friends of Pleasant Bay and the Roy T. Morgan Foundation. The Friends of Pleasant Bay is a grassroots environmental group dedicated to preserving Pleasant Bay and educating the community, especially Cape Cod’s youngest residents, about this unique recreational and ecological resource. The Roy T. Morgan Foundation provides support and assistance to organizations serving disabled children. We are grateful to our community partners for investing in this eagerly anticipated extension of our core science curriculum.