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Colorado school districts look at summer school as option to make up for learning loss

Denver Public Schools to announce plan in April
Colorado school districts look at summer school as option to make up for learning loss
Posted at 7:01 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 09:01:43-05

Now that most school districts in Colorado have resumed some level of in-person learning, questions are turning to how much learning students lost this year, and how to catch up. One idea that’s gaining traction is summer school.

President Joe Biden’s $130 billion education plan specifically sets aside $29 billion for tutoring and summer school. Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida told teachers to expect a five-day work week through the summer.

In a statement, Denver Public Schools spokesperson Winna MacLaren told Denver7 the district is “in the early stages of planning for summer school and addressing any learning loss for students.”

DPS is gathering community feedback through March but will announce a learning loss and summer school plan by April. MacLaren said DPS will implement the plan in the spring and “through the summer” with a focus on acceleration rather than remediation.

The district released a plan that includes the following:

  • Enhanced instruction through a laser-like focus on grade-level content and just-in-time support for students
  • Extended learning available that reinforces core content, is culturally relevant, and engages students in groups of eight to 12
  • Intensive tutoring for students with the greatest need through individualized instruction for one or two students that meets them where they are and connects to what is taught in the classroom
  • Social-emotional learning that supports students’ social-emotional needs and is embedded in core instruction

Cameron Bell, a spokesperson for JeffCo Public Schools, said the district typically offers summer school at four high schools and allows schools to choose to offer summer programs as well. The district has not said if it plans to expand summer school offerings this year.

The Boulder Valley School District will present a catch-up plan to the school board in a meeting Tuesday night.