Elementary and middle school students of the Bear Valley Unified School District now have an opportunity to make up school absences, given a new district offering billed as Saturday Academy. These Saturday makeup sessions will be offered at Big Bear Middle School and Baldwin Lane Elementary and, as BBMS Principal Julie Chamberlin tells KBHR, “This is a positive thing, not a punitive thing—not like Saturday school at the secondary level. The advantage of our Saturday Academy is that we do fun, educational things, and the advantage to the district is that we recapture ADA [or average daily attendance] funding.” All elementary and BBMS students with at least one absence are eligible for these sessions, which will be offered to elementary students on November 21 and December 5, from 8am to noon, and at the middle school on November 21, from 9am to 1pm—though BBMS students can participate in Saturday Academy at Baldwin Lane, if closer to their home. Some of the educational activities that have been offered at past Saturday Academies have included Skittles math, Jackson Pollack art, Who Am I? history games, bird beak science experiments, and research projects via the Internet and print publications. Specifics of the Saturday Academy, as outlined by Baldwin Lane Principal Melinda Peterson and BBMS Principal Julie Chamberlin, will be sent home with students on Wednesday, so parents are encouraged to watch for the letter this week.