Lee County school district prepared for increased summer school enrollment

Enrollment numbers for summer school are expected to be up by the thousands, as parents work to catch up their kids to where they should be and let them rebuild socially from the stress of the past year.

A school district in Southwest Florida says is prepared to teach 25 times the number of summertime students compared to before the pandemic.

The School District of Lee County expects to see 25,000 students to stay in school for the summer. That’s 10,00 more than last year and 24,000 more than 2019.

“We know that there has there was some learning loss due to COVID,” said Rob Spicker, the assistant director of media relations and public information at the District.

Spicker says Lee County schools started to offer virtual summer classes when the pandemic hit.

Kindergarten through eighth-grade students can also take part in summer enrichment programs, which are 45 minutes per week to keep their minds active in math or reading.

“It’s not a huge commitment, but it’s enough to keep you fresh and keep you ready,” Spicker said.

“You see a normal slide in those two and a half months that we’re out,” said Carole Gauronskas, the vice president of Florida Education Association.

Gauronskas with the Florida Education Association told us virtual options give families more flexibility, but the District’s in-person and hybrid summer classes are just as valuable.

“Nothing replaces in-person learning,” Gauronskas said. “It’s being able to see the light bulb moment in front of you happen.”

Lee County schools are in the process of recruiting and training teachers for the summer session. The District wants to help all students. It’s ot limited to those falling behind.

Virtual and hybrid programs are available this summer in Lee County.

The deadline to register is June 17, the last day of the spring semester.

“This is a way to keep fresh, keep current, keep involved, keep active,” Spicker said.

Collier County Public Schools also responded to questions we asked about student enrollment for the summer.

CCPS Statements

Q Is your district expecting a spike in students registering for summer enrollment?

A CCPS will be offering additional supports this summer to help mitigate the impacts of lost learning and accelerate student achievement. Therefore, we do expect an increase in summer school enrollment.

Q If so, how many students are you expecting to enroll?

A More than 8,300 students are eligible for summer programming.

Q How many students are already signed up?

A Numbers are still being compiled from invitations shared with parents of eligible students.

Q Will the district offer virtual summer classes this year?

A No; however, the District encourages students to take advantage of the activities and lessons available in Canvas this summer to help prevent loss of learning (typically referred to as the ‘summer slide’). All students will have access to Gear Up for Next Year activities posted to the District website and may access these engaging activities by using their Collier Connect devices. All students entering grades 2-12 will have their devices for use during the summer.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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