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Duval Public Schools’ Summer Rise Program Addresses Loss of Learning Due To Pandemic

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JON SUPER / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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File photo of a classroom.

With students learning from home during much of the coronavirus pandemic, the Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) district says many students have fallen behind academically. A new summer program aimed at bridging education gaps is now accepting applications.

The six-week, full-day program is the district’s largest-ever summer learning program. It’s available for rising first- through ninth-grade students, and will include math, reading, writing, and science. 

“Due to COVID, last school year, our students were out of school from March all the way to the end of the year, just learning online, and we have spent this entire year trying to fill those gaps that occurred during that time,” said regional superintendent Marianne Simon. “And in the meantime, we’ve incurred more gaps due to continued online learning and quarantine periods that have happened.”

Simon said the hope is that the Summer Rise program can fill any learning gaps before the next school year begins. 

The program will offer fun stuff like robotics, field trips, art and music, so it doesn’t feel too much like regular school.

Summer Rise is a marked expansion of the district’s previous summer learning opportunities. In the past, DCPS offered a half-day program just for third-grade students who were in danger of being held back a grade. 

The Summer Rise program can accept about 5,000 elementary students and about 2,400 middle school students — and demand is already high. “After looking at some of the registration this morning, we decided to add three additional sites,” Simon said. 

The program is scheduled to run from June 14 to July 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Information about how to register is available at dcps.duvalschools.org/summer

The program will follow the district’s current COVID-19 safety practices.

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.