NC summer school bill heading to governor’s desk

School Watch

150 hours of in-person learning for all kids in North Carolina.

An NC Summer School Bill will require every school district to offer summer school programs as a chance for kids to catch up after months of remote learning.

The bill passed in the General Assembly and now waits for Governor Cooper’s signature as local school districts are trying to plan for their summer programs. 

“I’m very much concerned about their learning loss,” Teresa Barber said.

She sees it in her first, second and fifth graders, who recently were sent back to the classroom at Jesse Warton Elementary School.

But Barber is worried the damage is done.

“I think the loss is very significant. I think it’s going to take a while for a lot of children to recover from this,” she explained. 

That’s why Guilford County School leaders are already working on expanding their summer learning opportunity plans for the possible new, state-mandated summer school program.

It will be fully funded with state and CARES Act Dollars.

Guilford County officials had already discussed methods for mitigating learning loss with targeted tutoring, a “fifth quarter” for high school students struggling in core classes and summer programs. 

Now a district leader tells FOX8 they are extending the learning opportunities for all students in the school system, which will include arts, STEM and sports. 

Barber intends on sending her kids to the voluntary program, hoping that it helps her kids get caught up. But she’s waiting for GCS to provide parents some details.

“I’ve already paid camp deposits for two of my children for specific weeks,” she said. “So…these 150 hours? Can they go one week? Can they go a couple of weeks? Or are they all enrolled in a consecutive period What’s going on?”

Guilford County officials told FOX8 they’re working on the details and will provide more information once the bill is signed. The goal is to have registration and schedule information out by the end of April. 

In Randolph County, parents have until the end of the day on Monday to fill out a survey gauging interest for summer school programs. 

A representative with the district told FOX8 that once they have the responses back, they’ll start the planning process.

The Randolph County Board of Education will also discuss the summer learning programs on April 19.

Some parents, like Barber, think while this summer school opportunity is to combat learning loss, it could be something that could be beneficial to students in the future.

“When they leave school, they have that two to three month break, and they come back, and they’ve lost a lot, and so our teachers are spending the first month or so trying to get them caught from where they lost over the summer,” Barber said. “Pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, there should always be an option for families.”

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