EUFAULA, Ala. (WTVM) - Summer is right around the corner for schools and families in the Chattahoochee Valley, and one East Alabama school district is hoping to use summer break as a way to make up for lost learning during the pandemic.
Eufaula High School math teacher, Matt Jones, said he knows the toll the pandemic and virtual learning have had on students and teachers.
“It’s been rough,” he said.
Like many teachers, Jones has noticed learning gaps that come with virtual learning. He said he had to spend extra time when students returned in February to go back over some content after weeks of virtual learning.
“You know you have access to that calculator right there [with virtual learning,]” Jones said. “The teachers can say all the time, ‘Don’t use a calculator, don’t use a calculator.’ But when it’s right there, it’s just so easy to pick it up.”
Knowing the learning that’s been lost over the past year, Eufaula City Schools officials said they are hoping to bridge the gap and get students back on track with their summer school programs.
“We are very excited about this unique opportunity,” said Reeivice Girtman, the principal of Eufaula High School.
While they are offering traditional summer school geared toward students who have failed a class or need remedial help, district leaders said they also have programs for students who need a little extra leg up or a refresher before next fall.
“Summer school is going to be a really fun way to get them back into the building, to get them comfortable with learning, get them the confidence they need to be successful so we can get back on track,” Girtman said.
The district will also offer enrichment programs like STEM camps and more.
“There will be everything from drama to music to creative writing to robotics,” said Holly Mitchell, the director of curriculum and instruction.
Parent Rusti Register said she already has her two kids signed up.
“They’re both very excited,” she said. “They’re excited to see the paperwork. They’ve told people they’re taking it. They’ve told their teachers they’re taking it.”
Jones, too, is excited about the summer camp programs, which are free for K-12 students in the district and come with transportation and breakfast and lunch.
“I think it could be a game changer for our school system,” he said.
Officials suggest getting in contact with your child’s school to find out which program is the right fit for your student.