Some elementary students set to attend in-class summer school in Collier County

Some students in Southwest Florida will be back in the classroom for summer school, but some wonder if it’s too soon.

A mother we spoke to said her kids hope to return to the classroom, and a health expert said it’s feasible, but guidelines must be in place and followed.

Collier County Public Schools said “Jump Start 2020” begins July 6 at four elementary schools in the district.

One of Susan Rober’s children is a fifth-grader at Big Cypress Elementary School in Golden Gate Estates, which is one of the locations hosting summer school. She said the “Jump Start 2020″ program will be a great test to see how things will play out for the fall.

“My daughter and my son desperately want to be back in the classrooms, especially my daughter,” Rober said. “The idea of having to be behind a computer for another semester makes her really upset.”

After months of online school, Rober said her kids miss their teachers and friends.

“I really think we need to get back to learning,” Rober said. “And as long as it is in a safe and controlled environment, I think it is a great thing for these kids to be back in the classroom with their teachers.”

Medical expert Robert Hawkes, the director of the physicians assistant program at FCGU, said that as long as the teachers and staff are prepared, it should be safe for kids to get back into the classrooms.

“Learning can’t stop and it needs to continue. Kids want structured activities. So, as long as the schools are prepared for it and the parents have an understanding.”

Hawkes believes it’s a good idea as long as schools follow the necessary guidelines.

“They need to make sure they have enough hand sanitizer,” Hawkes said. “Enough places for people to wash their hands would be appropriate, maintaining distance certainly. It’s hard with kids, but maintaining the social distance is important, and teachers should be wearing face masks and ideally encourage the kids to do so as well.”

“Jump Start” classes are for rising third and fourth graders who qualify due to status in the low 25% in reading or students with disabilities who qualify for extended school year.

The summer jump start program will be 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday from July 6 to 30.

Students will have lunches and transportation provided if needed.

Collier County Public School sent a letter to parents saying it will make sure safety is a priority.

“It would be good to see on a smaller scale how this could work,” Hawkes said. “I am hoping we are back in the classrooms this fall.”

Jump Start 2020 details

  • Locations: Big Cypress Elementary; Eden Park Elementary; Mike Davis Elementary; Shadowlawn Elementary
  • Rising third and fourth-graders who qualify due to status in the low 25% in Reading (2019 ELA FSA and/or local progress monitoring)
  • Students with Disabilities who qualify for Extended School Year (ESY)
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • Transportation provided as needed for students who live more than two miles from the school
Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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