Summer Learning 2024 Gets Rolling

Elementary camp invention 2024Buses rolled, crossing guards protected, cafeteria workers fed, and, of course, teachers taught, and students jumped back into school for a dose of summer learning.


You might have missed it if you weren’t paying attention, but the signs were in place Monday with a representative number of Killeen ISD campuses coming to life after a very brief reprieve.


The district’s extensive summer enrichment and intervention programs are underway.


The elementary summer enrichment program, divided into two four-day sessions, is happening at seven sites spread across the district.


At one of those schools, Haynes Elementary School, Site Director Melissa Murphy introduced her 19 teachers for the week, as well as eight classroom assistants to the almost 200 kindergarten through fifth grade students gathered in the cafeteria.


The Haynes site includes students from its own attendance zone, as well as Fowler, Carney and Montague Village elementary schools in the west part of Killeen and Fort Cavazos.

Welcome to summer learning 2024


The site is hosting twice as many students as it did a year ago and has a waiting list.


Toishema Holley directed her nine first-graders to come up with sports names for three different teams for the “In the Game” sports-themed section she was teaching.


The overall program, called Camp Invention, connects science and engineering to inventors and innovators in a variety of fields, including sports for the "In the Game" section.


The students, working in three teams, set up ramps and tested the speed and distance traveled for a ping-pong ball, a bouncy ball and a marble.


“The word has gotten out how engaging this camp is,” said Murphy.


“I hope they walk away with the learning and academics and the engagement tied into it,” she said. “They think they are just having fun, but really they are learning so much.”


Math and engineering mix with creativity and movement to hold student interest.

Huddle up to learn


A variety of middle school and high school camps aimed at STEM and writing opened at the Career Center, including coding, crime scene investigation, DJ experience and Camp Invention, as well as survivor enrichment for eighth and ninth grade students.

summer learning starts 2024














Fine arts camps also got underway, with high school theater camp and middle school musical theater and orchestra camp.


At the Chaparral High School theater, 40 high school students from across KISD began a two-week camp that will end with a production of Treasure Island.

theater camp stage work


Those students completed tryouts before the end of the school year and entered the camp with characters assigned and ready to rehearse lines.


Co-director Samantha Dunaway acknowledged it would be a tight timeline to prepare a play in less than two weeks, but it will be fun and full of learning.


“My goal for a summer theater camp is for students to get to experience theater in a fun environment,” she said, pointing out that without grades or a competition, students can embrace their love for the stage.


“We’re super-excited to be doing Treasure Island,” she said, noting a combination of an iconic story with fun stage adaptations.


“You have young Jim Hawkins on an adventure and he meets up with the infamous Long John Silver, who is part villain and part hero,” leading to a quest for treasure and coming-of-age challenges.


Chaparral senior Emely Fernandez said theater camp provides good exposure for students considering theater as a class. She is stage manager for the show.


“It is not a chore. It is a luxury. I love it,” she said. “I want to learn to work with other people in a quick amount of time.”

staging Treasure Island


The set, said Fernandez, will present challenges that she is excited to tackle.


Chaparral junior Marlee Luther is playing the role of Jim Hawkins, the main character.


“I find theater camp really important because it’s a time to grow and better myself,” she said. “I can experiment with what I can do.”


“There is a lot of action. It’s a very hands-on show,” she said. “He has a lot of maturity and wisdom but is also a kid. He really proves himself in the show.”


“I feel really free and not bound to a certain character.”


For information about KISD summer learning, go to the following:



Summer Learning 2024 photo gallery: