The demand for summer school was so overwhelming that District 153 has a waiting list this year.
The district will have 40 teachers and 15 assistants staffing two sessions of summer school to serve 200 general education students and 125 special education students. The district sent notes to families giving them the option of summer school for their children and within 24 hours the district had filled every spot.
“We got an overwhelming response when we reached out to them. Those are students that we really wanted to come. We invited them so that they could get some of the skills they missed during remote learning,” said Kathy Schaeflein, director of curriculum.
Summer school co-directors Aleasa Williamson and Nicole Madden have planned for Monday through Friday summer school starting on June 14. Session A runs June 14 through July 2, and Session B runs July 12 through July 26.
Summer school will be in-person learning with low enrollments per group so that students can get the help they need from the teacher or aide.
Schaeflein said for some of the students, summer school will be their first time back at school since March 2020.
This year the district will provide bus service for students. A social worker and a school nurse will be available for social-emotional support as needed, Schaeflein said. The district is using federal CARES ACT funds designated for addressing learning loss due to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Teachers recommended (the students) for lots of reasons,” Schaeflein said, and included students who had problems being engaged during remote learning and are struggling academically. The district has designed the program as Essential Skills Summer School. For special education students, the program is called Extended School Year.