State Board of Education discusses summer school guidance for NC schools

School Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Some students across North Carolina will be back in the classroom this summer.

A bill requiring all K through 12 schools in North Carolina to offer summer school got unanimous support from state lawmakers. Now, the State Board of Education is meeting to decide the logistics of the summer sessions.

“This summer is a critical opportunity to provide immediate academic recovery for our students, as well as laying the foundation for strategic, structural and long-term improvement in our state’s public school system,” said Eric Davis, chairman of the NC Board of Education.

The board met Monday to discuss guidance for the required summer school option.

“The bill is really designed to allow children an additional opportunity to be promoted, so the children that it is targeted to are those who are at-risk of failure,” said Allison Schafer, Director of Policy for the NC Schools Boards Association.

Districts will reach out to parents or guardians of students who meet the requirements of the program. It’s then up to them to decide if their student will attend.

“The idea is that this would allow, hopefully allow many of the children to be promoted,” said Schafer. “But it does anticipate that it is addressed to the children who are likely to be retained in the first place.”

School districts will be required to offer 30 days or 150 hours of in-person instruction.

“Students in K through second grade must have instruction in reading and math,” said Dr. Michael Maher, Executive Director of the Office of Learning Recovery. “Third grade through eighth grade, reading, math and science.”

The program must include a period of physical activity, meal and transportation services and at least one enrichment activity, like art or music, for K through eight students. High schools students must have access to the 30 days or 150 hours of learning, but aren’t required to attend all of it.

“They can work on end-of-course subjects, they can have access to modules for credit recovery and/or they can have elective course options, which helps with both recovery and acceleration,” said Maher.

Kindergarten through eighth grade students will be required to take a competency-based assessment at the beginning and end of the summer session.

“A competency-based assessment is a tool that measures levels of student confidence with any given standard by assessing progression for curriculum at a student’s own pace,” said Maher.

High school students’ progress will be evaluated based on credit recovery.

School districts are required to submit their plans to the Department of Public Instruction 30 days before their last instructional day.

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