- How summer school will be held, what needs it will address, and who it will focus on is mixed across many of the nation's school districts, Chalkbeat reports.
- Chicago Public Schools, for example, is awaiting feedback from public health officials on whether school buildings, remote instruction or small groups are best, and students who received an incomplete due to coronavirus closures will get first priority to enroll. In New York City, students who earned a “course in progress” will automatically be enrolled, while those who “need improvement” may also have to attend.
- Meanwhile, Los Angeles Unified School District plans to hold summer school in four-week blocks. Miami-Dade County in Florida will start with virtual summer school and open buildings at end of July for struggling students if public health officials give the go-ahead, and Boulder, Colorado, will switch to the basics of math and literacy catch-up rather than offering typical enrichment options.
Many educators question whether students will even attend remote summer school. An Education Week Research Center survey shows fewer students in higher-poverty schools have logged on or made contact with their teachers. Many students in these schools still lack home access to internet and devices.
According to an Association of American Educators Foundation survey, 84% of teachers agreed with school closures due to COVID-19, but more than 50% are concerned about students falling behind during online learning. Seventy-five percent of teachers surveyed felt they were somewhat prepared to teach online, but 42% said their education community was not prepared to take on the task.
Educators in many states report very low e-learning attendance. A survey from Fishbowl, a community app for professionals, found 35% of respondents reported online attendance to be as low as 0% to 25%. Another 55% said less than half of their students are attending.
Michigan has the highest rate of online absences, with 62% of teachers surveyed saying less than a quarter of their students attend remote classes. Another 40% in North Carolina, Ohio and California also report low attendance.
Los Angeles schools are scheduled to start on time on Aug. 18, but it is unknown whether students will attend in-person classes or continue remote learning. A task force of superintendents is building a framework for the reopening. Health officials brought up the possibility of making students wear masks at schools, but Alexander Cherniss, superintendent of Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, pointed out that would require 5 million masks a week, which is not something the district can afford. Cherniss also said young children can’t be expected to stick to a 6-foot social-distance radius.