South Summit heads back to school |

South Summit heads back to school

Alexandria Gonzalez, The Park Record

Students make their way through the halls of South Summit High School to get to their next classes. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.

Students at South Summit High School (SSHS) in Kamas rushed into the building asking for their lost schedules at the front desk, and a secretary obligingly handed them out as Principal Steve Camp walked around calmly in the hallway urging students to get to class.

It is now Camp’s second year as principal, and he is hopeful that he can build trust in the community in order to move forward and keep students graduating and headed off to post-secondary education.

"I think that coming into a new situation, there is a relationship and trust in that relationship that you have to build," said Camp. "I want to continue building that from my end so that I can do my job and be there to help teachers, parents and students in any aspect that I can."

There have been several changes made over the summer that Camp is confident will help students excel both personally and academically.

Teachers at SSHS are now developing Common Formative Assessments (CFA). These CFAs take the Utah Core Standards and then break them down to the essential things that the students really need to know. With that information, teachers can develop assessments that help to determine if the students are picking up on the concepts as the year moves along, Camp said.

"If you can assess quickly and accurately along the way, you can determine if a student understands that concept," said Camp. "In doing so, we can identify those that struggle quickly, make the necessary interventions, and get them back on board."

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That "intervention" program at SSHS has been titled Enrichment Advisory. During this time, which is at 10:45 every day, students that are having difficulty grasping certain concepts in the core classes math, science, and language arts can get extra help.

Not all students will need intervention, so those that do not will be assigned enrichment-type activities while those that need "intervention" are being brought up to speed. Camp trusts that this will keep students on track and will keep them from becoming discouraged and giving up completely.

While he believes that academics take priority in all cases, Camp also believes that extracurricular activities are the other half of education.

"We want to see our students involved in the extracurricular activities that give them good interactive social skills, coping skills of life, and so forth," said Camp. "We want to help students in all aspects and then make that academic connection strong enough that they can move forward and succeed beyond high school."

For a 2A school, SSHS is proud of all of the diverse extracurricular opportunities they have available for students. Team sports, drama, debate, club-type and community service groups are among those that students can partake in.

The small high school has stayed about even when it comes to student population. However, Camp said that from what they are seeing in the lower grades, that number could increase substantially in several years. For now, they have both gained and lost students, keeping enrollment within around two students of last year, he said.

Camp is confident that while there have been significant changes made this year, the teachers are prepared to guide students toward graduation, which is always the number one priority.

"We have an outstanding staff that is dedicated and committed to kids, and they will do all they can to help," said Camp. "They amaze me every day."