Spark Summer Learning Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible?
Any student who has completed kindergarten through 5th grade can participate in the Spark Summer Learning program regardless of where they go to elementary school.
NEW for 2024 - Spark will have a Camp Crew program for students who have completed 6th – 9th grade. Camp Crew students will be able to learn alongside their elementary counterparts while also sharing their STEAM knowledge, helping teachers, and providing an extra set of hands for our engaging activities. For more information on Camp Crew or to apply, click here.
Students with special needs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure adequate staffing meets each student’s needs. Please get in touch with us to discuss your child’s specific needs.
Can I choose my weeks?
YES! We’d love to have your child(ren) every week of camp, but you can choose how many weeks – and which weeks – work for you.
Where is the camp located?
Holmes Elementary - 5230 Sumner Street
What are the days/hours of operation?
Typical camp weeks run Monday-Friday. The exception is the week of May 29-31 (Wednesday-Friday) and July 1-3 (Monday-Wednesday).
Students can arrive at Spark starting at 7:30 a.m. and be picked up as late as 6 p.m. A late pick-up charge of $20 will be assessed if a parent is late for pick-up. The core programming will begin at about 8:30 a.m. and will be complete by about 5:00 p.m.
The program will open on May 29, 2023, and run through July 26, 2023. Spark will NOT be open July 4-5 for the holiday.
What does it cost?
Full-time enrollment will be $270 per week + $10 activity fee. We have a 10% discount for siblings.
We are working to secure private funding to provide scholarships; check back after the new year for more information on scholarships.
What are my payment options?
- Spark only accepts electronic payments – ACH or credit card.
- You can pay the total amount or just the deposit when you enroll.
- A $60 deposit is required at enrollment for each child each week.
- Full payment is due two weeks before each specific camp week starts.
What if we have a change of plans and need to withdraw from camp?
In the event the family wishes to cancel before the start of the program, the family must:
- Give two weeks (14 days) written notice before the first day of the camp for which they are withdrawing. Any weekly fees already paid will be refunded minus the $60 deposit.
- Complete the Spark Summer Learning Withdrawal Form.
Should you choose to withdraw less than two weeks (14 days) from the start of camp, you will forfeit your weekly fee/deposit and $10 activity fee.
What will my student be learning?
Spark Summer Learning is filled with hands-on, age-appropriate lessons. Our curriculum is STEAM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). We’ll be exploring each of these areas through project-based lessons... we’ll discover the world of physics by playing various sports. We’ll explore ecology and biology by learning about bird adaptations and building a bird feeder! We’ll venture into chemistry as we investigate water and water recreation. And so much more! Check out our weekly themes for more information on what we’ll do each week!
But don’t worry...exploring and learning won’t be our only fun! Each Wednesday, we’ll head out for field trips and pool time!
What should my child bring to camp?
We provide nearly everything your child will need at camp. That said, we ask that all students bring:
- A water bottle with their name clearly marked
- A backpack with their name clearly marked
- A change of clothes
We also ask that students NOT bring any toys, books, electronics, or games from home. We cannot guarantee that other students will not play with these items. We cannot guarantee these items will not get lost or broken. Spark is not responsible for any toys, books, electronics, or games brought from home.
Where will my child go on field trips?
At Spark, we pride ourselves on providing students with fantastic learning opportunities… one of these is our weekly field trip. Each week (typically on Wednesdays), we head out to museums, nature centers, universities, and state parks to learn more about our weekly theme. In the past, Spark has gone to Platte River State Park, UNL’s Food Science Innovation Lab, The Kiewit Luminarium in Omaha, Schramm Education Center, The Career Academy at Southeast Community College, and Wesleyan University School of Music.
Following our morning field trip, we’ll head to the pool.* We ask that students come to Spark in the morning with their swimsuits under their clothes. This saves significant time and gives students more fun at the pool. Be sure to bring sunscreen and a towel, too!
*Occasionally, field trips will last all day, and we will not head to the pool.
What is served for breakfast, lunch & snack?
Spark will provide nutritious and balanced meals and snacks. Before each week of camp, we will send out a menu detailing what we’ll serve each day. Of course, if your child prefers to eat breakfast before camp or bring their own lunch, that is fine!
If your child has a food allergy, please include that on the registration form within the Medical Information section. Families may also choose to send meals with students to Spark.
How can parents be involved?
We love it when parents or guardians come into the classroom when dropping off or picking up their child(ren). This provides an excellent opportunity to see what your child(ren) is doing, meet and get to know their teacher, and maybe even tinker with our excellent STEAM resources!
If you work in a STEAM field and would love to share your expertise with all Spark students, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Parent guest speakers are some of our favorites!
Will my child have time to play and relax?
Our days will be packed with engaging activities, dreaming, engineering, and plenty of games. But we know some downtime is essential, too. As our day begins (7:30-8:30 a.m.), students will have time to warm up with individual activities, reading, and small group activities. Then, after lunch, we’ll take some time to relax before we resume our action-packed explorations. Finally, we’ll end the day with more downtime (5-6 p.m.), where students can again work on individual or small group activities and read or play STEAM-based computer games.
How are behavior issues handled?
When you have many elementary students together, you will have a lot of fun! But, sometimes, you also encounter some behavior issues. At Spark, we know it can be challenging for some students to regulate their emotions and handle new situations. It is also important to remember that not all behavior issues are equal – some impact only that student, and some impact many students. Some present little threat to safety, and some require more intervention.
At Spark, we ensure a safe environment for all students and staff. Depending on the issue, our staff is trained to handle behavior uses using the following steps:
- First time: Reminder of camp expectations and student redirect
- Second time: Student redirect or in-class cool-down time and completion of a Behavior Report Form for parent signature.
- Third time: Update of Behavior Report Form, and student is asked to cool down in the Spark office.
- Fifth time: The parent or Guardian is called, and the student is asked to leave for the day.
Should a student return the following day and behavior issues continue, the student will be asked to leave for the remainder of the week.
If, at any time, a student's behavior causes a severe safety concern for other students or staff, the student will immediately be required to leave.