The school district is spending more than $13 million in federal coronavirus relief funds on the program, with about $10 million going to pay teachers.
The expanded summer school is a reaction to student learning loss caused by the pandemic. For elementary and middle school students, this year’s summer program is voluntary, not just limited to those in danger of repeating a grade. It involves previewing next year’s standards instead of solely reviewing last year.
“The light bulbs are coming on in terms of how this would be a lot more effective than a focus on remediation, on an assumption that students know nothing and we just need to take them back through the whole year,” Hunter said. “What the research says is, if we had gone that route, we would’ve doomed children to failure year after year after year. Students almost never get caught up when we use that.”
The school district, which enrolls almost 180,000, is offering a digital version of summer school to all elementary and middle school students, he said.
“It’s a great paradigm shift that we are involved in,” he said.
Summer Enrichment and Acceleration began last week. The in-person program will end July 2 and the digital program will be available until July 16.