Philly district offers universal summer school | #students | #parents

The School District of Philadelphia plans to offer universal summer school for all public school students in grades K-12 this year.

The district expects at least 14,000 students to enroll, based on internal data about student academic needs. Registration for the summer programs opened Thursday morning. Full-day classes will start on June 28 and run through mid-August, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Superintendent William Hite says it’s the most robust summer program offered by the district in recent memory.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve never had the opportunity to offer as many families who want their children in summer [school], a program option,” said Hite.

In previous summers, the district has provided classes for an average of 2,000 to 3,000 students.

For five to six weeks, the programs will offer standard academic courses, as well as extracurriculars like music, art, engineering, and physical education.

District officials say the summer classes will help students “narrow achievement gaps” after almost 15 months of virtual learning. The programs are also meant to support students in preparation for the fall.

This is about “helping students reach and maintain grade-level performance in reading and in math,” said Hite.

Hite acknowledged the program is only a fraction of what’s needed.

“You don’t make up that time in five or six weeks,” said Hite. “We understand that. We are trying to reduce regression.”

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