FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – It is the last week of school at Sierra Vista Elementary and teacher Michael Williamson knows the areas where his students still need work. That will be his focus in summer school
“I’m teaching 5th grade again for summer school so being able to focus on fractions again, being able to focus on multiplication facts getting them ready for 6th grade on some of those foundational skills that they will need to be successful in sixth grade,” explained Williamson.
The Clovis Unified School District, like many others, are ramping up their summer school programs, adding more sites in anticipation of a greater need.
“With the setbacks that we had for this past year we knew that we were going to have some additional students that were going to be wanting to come, knew they were going to be needing summer school,” said Chuck Sandoval, Clovis Unified School District’s Summer School Director.
For Clovis, that meant doubling the number of elementary school sites to ten and offering programs, including career technical education, at every high school in the district.
“We knew that we were going to have to provide those opportunities for students especially secondary where they are making up credits and we want them to walk across that stage in 12th grade,” explained Sandoval.
It is the acknowledgement that the pandemic along with distance learning has had a huge impact on education on students.
“So many of them have been on zoom or whatever platforms that we are using and just being able to interact with each other in person, learn to play games with each other, learning how to share again learn how to work collaboratively in a classroom it’s going to be a huge step for a lot of us,” said Williamson.
Getting kids back on campus learning in person is one of the main goals for Fresno Unified. The district is offering summer school programs at all of its high schools including alternative campuses, programs at all middle school sites, and at over 60 elementary schools.
“Yes, we’re going to be doing great learning experiences helping students that need to recover some skills in literacy or math or maybe it’s credits in high school, we really want it to be a fun enriching relevant time,” said Jeremy Ward of Fresno Unified.
Along with CTE programs, the district is providing a wide variety of summer camp opportunities. The goal is to get more kids back on campuses, showing parents it’s safe for their students to return to school.
“We want our family and our students to know this is a safe place to be and it’s a place and an opportunity for them to come back to reconnect with their teachers, to reconnect with their school as we transition back to school full time this fall,” said Ward