After many students missed dances, football games, and graduations, as well as a typical social life while enduring a pandemic school year, the additional threat of learning loss is driving school systems in North Georgia to keep kids on track.
Gwinnett County Schools plans for pandemic recovery
Gwinnett County Public Schools will see an overwhelming number of students in summer school this year, but Director of Community and Media Relations Bernard Watson said they designed a new program to help maintain what they've learned through a difficult academic year.
"This year, Summer Enrichment and Acceleration is much different than what we've dealt with in the past in terms of traditional summer school," said Watson. "Summer Enrichment and Acceleration is a process by which we're giving our students a sneak peek, so to speak, of the material their going to be learning in the fall."
This accelerated program is open to rising Pre-Kindergarteners to rising 9th graders. Traditional summer school will still be available for high school students who need to make up coursework.
Watson said they planned to see a larger number of students in the summer programs, and that they know Rome wasn't built in a day.
"This is not going to be a one year thing," Watson said. "This is a process we're going to be following the next several years, because we realized it'll take more than just one summer to ensure our students remain on task and on schedule to get a quality education that we provide here at Gwinnett County Schools."
All Gwinnett County Public Schools students can access the summer enrichment acceleration program online as well.
Buford City Schools continues operations as planned
Buford City Schools will continue to operate summer school for students to make up coursework for around 550 students, and are not offering an accelerated program this summer.
"Because most 90% of Buford City Schools students remained face to face (in our buildings the entire school year) we continued to offer afterschool programs to address any gaps identified during the school year," Strategic Communications Director Katie Strickland said.
Hall County Schools offers enrichment camps
The Hall County School System will see roughly the same number of students in summer programs this year - no big spike here - but they're also offering enrichment camps over the summer to keep kids engaged.
Director of Community Relations Stan Lewis said those camps include career- and life-focused topics like cooking and cosmetology, creative programs like musical theater and problem-solving through gaming, and worldly activities like mountain biking and cultural studies.
Gainesville City Schools encourages STAR students
About 960 students will be continuing to learn this summer at Gainesville City Schools. Students have been encouraged to take Summer Tutoring Acceleration & Remediation programs this year as well.
"At GCSS we made a more concerted effort to invite our students to take advantage of our summer offerings to help combat potential summer learning loss," said Superintendent Jeremy Williams in an email statement. "Remote learning during the pandemic impacted each student differently and our STAR program being funded by the American Rescue Plan through 2024 gave us an opportunity to offer programming at each elementary school, middle and high school this summer allowing us to reach more children."