LANSING: suffocating classrooms, drowsy students, boring lectures. In general, summer school is seen as a slogan: a punitive measure designed to prevent struggling students from falling behind while their peers enjoy the summer in the sun.
But after a year in which most students joined at home, summer school will look different, and Greater Lansing educators expect record enrollment.
To combat the loss of social-emotional learning that many students have experienced this year, the Lansing School District combines classroom learning with art, music, athletics, zoo trips and even horseback riding at the Lansing School District. its summer school program or SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Re-engagement). Other offerings are designed to help students not repeat a grade or to allow seniors to recover credits that prevented them from graduating in the spring.
“We look forward to seeing academic gains this summer; that’s the main focus,” said Teri Bernero, who helps organize summer programming for the Lansing School District. “At the same time, we understand that they are children. They need a way out, they have to take part in leisure and exploration activities ”.
Lansing schools ’eight-week programs are divided into two four-week sessions. They will start by identifying students who are especially retarded or struggling, Bernero said, and offer them the first learning opportunities.
The district partners with organizations such as the YMCA Zoo and Potter Park to offer K-6 students two summer learning sessions. 6th, 7th and 8th grade students can enroll in two four-week sessions starting June 21, where they will complete traditional classroom learning and take subjects such as health sciences, human services and home technology. information. Mobile career labs will take students to community centers, parks and other places in the city where they will be able to enter different career paths.
The district also offers weekly outings for 7th and 8th graders. These enrollees will be paired with mentors from students at Michigan State University and Lansing High Schools for academic tutoring.
9th through 12th grade students can enroll in the Lansing School District credit recovery programs, which also include two four-week sessions. And for the first time all year, Lansing School District offers face-to-face classes.
“We put a lot of time and effort into creating a face-to-face summer learning option for students,” Bernero said. “Screen to screen will continue to be available, but we want to see our children at school.”
In Okemos public schools, summer classes will aim to make up for the learning losses suffered during remote schooling.
The district is taking a two-tier approach to summer school, Superintendent John Hood said, with a first phase available to all students and a more intensive second phase for students who need more academic intervention.
“We know there has been an impact of the pandemic on our children’s learning,” Hood said. “This is really an opportunity to give kids the academic support they need, which will also help them navigate school when they get closer again. In line with the performance of their peers.”
None of Okemos ’summer learning programs are mandatory. But the district is trying to make them as attractive as possible in hopes of getting students out of their homes, Hood said.
Government funding has helped.
In several districts in the area, including East Lansing public schools, funding from the Emergency Housing Fund for Elementary and Secondary School (part of the federal coronavirus stimulus package) is funding credit recovery programs. and summer schools.
Glenn Mitcham, director of the ELPS curriculum, expects to enroll about 425 elementary school students in the district’s face-to-face summer learning camps. They will also enroll 50 students in individual tutoring and 200 in a summer reading program that includes records between teachers and parents to improve reading skills.
The district also offers a middle school math camp that can enroll about 85 students, a program for freshmen that focuses on how to succeed in high school, high school, and high school summer tutoring. and credit recovery for students who need to start a class again. , Said Mitcham.
Learning opportunities in the summer are a good start, Mitcham said, but they are only the first step in addressing the impact COVID-19 had on students this year.
“We recognize that we have many students who have undergone learning this year. It is crucial to provide them with more time with teachers this year, ”he said. “We see it as critical and I sincerely hope that resources like this are available in the future, not just this summer. It will take longer than this summer to get kids where they need to be.”
Contact Mark Johnson at 517-377-1026 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.