SEATTLE - Seattle Public Schools says it has a unique opportunity right now to keep students engaged in learning throughout the summer.
The forced transition into virtual learning this spring showed how well students can adapt, so now Superintendent Denise Juneau says the district is offering summer school to all students.
“It was important in our planning that all students have learning opportunities, so we can provide needed consistency and predictability,” said Juneau.
“Focused on students of color, with a targeted approach for African American boys and young men and to be really focused on racial equity, everything that we do in our decision making,” she said.
Juneau made the announcement on Facebook, along with Chief of Schools Wyeth Jessee, who said they want as many students registered as possible, so they created a simple program to follow, full of lessons.
Middle schoolers and high schoolers will get 10 math lessons and 10 language arts lessons.
First- through fifth-graders get more lessons. They get 10 math and 10 reading and writing lessons, plus they will get five lessons focused on social-emotional learning.
This includes social interactions, virtues, values and citizenship.
It all breaks down to just one lesson per day from July 6 to Aug. 7.
“And some students who do need some more intensive social emotional learning, counseling or mental health services, we're going to be providing some on-site or over video counseling services for mental health with our community-based partners,” said Jessee.
The district has dozens of teachers signed up for summer learning, which Jessee said also includes weekly virtual classroom sessions and phone calls with students.
“We want to have Seattle public teachers in front of our students over the summer so we can maintain our relationships that are so essential and prepare our students for the upcoming '20-21 school year,” said Jessee.
Jessee said they're continuing several community partnerships to keep free meals going out to kids, computers for students in need, plus books and incentives for the super readers, as he calls them.
The Seattle Education Association, the union that represents the teachers, has not yet returned a request for comment on compensation or contract for summer school.