Encinitas Union School District holds 23rd Extended School Year Summer Olympics

Children waving a rainbow parachute.
(Tami Wilson)

La Costa Heights Elementary School hosted the 23rd Extended School Year Summer Olympics July 20, with about 60 students from the special education program in grades K-6 taking part in tee ball, bowling and a series of other activities.

The event, under the theme of “Summer Fun,” started in the morning with a parade led by the students, who came from all nine schools within the Encinitas Union School District.

Fifth grader Wyatt Dell said his favorite activity was bean bag tossing. He and the other students were rotating from station to station. In one group, students took turns hitting a ball off a hitting tee. In another group, students rolled bowling balls toward sets of pins that were racked up against a brick wall. There was also a mock fishing station, in which students used makeshift fishing rods to hook toy fish on the ground, and another group that lined up around and waved a rainbow-colored parachute.

The idea for the olympics program came from an adaptive physical education teacher, Lori Miller, who died from cancer, and the event continues each year in her honor. Themes from past years include “We Are One World” in 2019, with students creating art and other projects. In 2018, the theme was “Habits.”

“We have all these students who are doing a variety of activities that they’ve practiced throughout the summer, and now they are doing it at the culminating event of the olympics,” said Ronnie Kraft, program specialist in the Encinitas Union School District, one of the faculty members overseeing the events at La Costa Heights. “Just a fun kind of gathering with friends and family and everyone’s welcome.”