LANSING, Mich. — School districts across mid-Michigan were mostly remote this year. Now they plan on using the summer to fill in the gaps virtual learning left behind.
“In any other year, there is something called summer slide where our kids do lose some of their learning from the past school year, so we’ve always tried to provide some summer school options for our students,” said Teri Bernero, the Lansing School District director of Pathway Promise. “With COVID and our students only online, we really feel like that learning loss is even greater this year.”
Glenn Mitcham, the East Lansing Public Schools director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said summer programs are a necessity.
“Our kids have been in their rooms on their computer doing school for far too long and we want to give them a way to have more connection with our teachers,” he said.
Lansing and East Lansing Public Schools are joining districts across the region to launch summer school programs to help students get caught up ahead of the fall semester.
The programs will be paid for out of $90 million in federal money Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allocated for schools as part of Michigan's COVID-19 rebound.
Steve Netzel with Holt Public Schools said there’s strong interest from parents.
“About a month ago, the district sent out an interest survey to our public to see where our parents and guardians were and we had over 400 parents respond," he said.
Mitcham said East Lansing’s program will try to address the toll remote learning has taken on students.
“One of the most important things for any student, but particularly our at-risk kids is having connections with teachers,” he said. “That connection piece is just put more and more at risk and it’s harder to do in an online setting.”
Bernero says summer programs like the one she helped design will serve more than just an academic purpose.
“We will have a student support specialist, so if our kids or when they need that social, emotional support, that specialist will be there.”
East Lansing Public Schools will hold an in-person summer learning camp for K-5 students, high school prep sessions for rising 8th graders and tutoring for all grades. Registration has closed.
Lansing Public Schools is offering face-to-face as well as online summer programs that will offer art and music courses, career exploration labs and equestrian activities. Slots are still available. More information can be found here.
Holt Public Schools will hold three in-person sessions that will feature traditional instruction as well as art, music and physical education classes. Spots are also open for this program.
“There’s some students that are going to return in the fall and they won’t have missed a beat,” said Netzel. “There will be some that will need extra time with our staff and extra time to receive instruction and so how do we consider the pandemic and the outcomes from the pandemic and provide what kids need.”
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.