ANACONDA — Summer is a great time for some students to take a break from their classes, but for other students, it isn’t good to have a break in their routine because they’re not prepared for the next school year. That’s why Anaconda has a special summer school with a water safety class at Washoe Park.
“This is important for kids who need to stay in that routine and have instruction throughout the summer so that when they come back in the fall they still know the routine and they can be successful in the classroom,” said Special Education Teacher Brianna Saltenberger.
Anaconda’s Extended School Year program provides six weeks of classroom instruction during the day followed by water safety training for about 20 students who require a solid routine to prevent them from falling behind.
“You can even see it over Christmas break, they’re gone for a couple of weeks sometimes you lose that information, so this is a way for them to keep practicing those skills,” said Saltenberger.
One of the skills is water safety in which instructors teach swimming.
“I think it’s important because we live in Montana and there’s a lot of lakes and I think it’s common for kids to go in the water just having fun because they go out boating all the time, so they’re not scared of the water, but a lot of kids don’t know how to swim,” said swimming instructor Logan Stetzner.
For many kids, it’s the best part of the day.
“They seem to look forward to it every day. We got a couple of kids that come running through the door every day and you got to make sure they don’t hop right into the water right off the bat,” said Pool Manager Michael Hessler.
The instructors have seen kids improve since the beginning of summer.
“There’s one girl Cassie over there, she does a really good job, she wasn’t even able to swim at all at the beginning of summer and she’s swimming through the deep end now like it’s nothing,” said Hessler.