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MCSD offers Summer Academy to help address learning loss

In an effort to accelerate learning recovery due to the challenges associated with the pandemic and offer as many resources as possible to students and families this summer, Merced City School District (MCSD) will be offering summer classes to all grades, including preschool.

Given the challenging year, this time around, summer school will look similar to a regular school day compared to summer school programs in the past, offering opportunities for both academic and social learning, including outdoor activities early in the day.

Through the summer school program, current MCSD students in transitional kindergarten through 7th grade will receive in-person or distance learning instruction starting in June. For preschool students, they will have the in-person option only. Families have the choice between a four-week program or an eight-week program.

Traditionally, summer school has been a program mostly to help students catch up. This year will be different, explains Deputy Superintendent Doug Collins.

“The pandemic has been challenging for our students who have missed out on both academic and social fronts,” he says. “In essence, summer school is being reimagined because of what we’ve all been through in the last year. This program will be a way to help address learning loss due to the pandemic as well as help prepare students for the upcoming school year. That’s why the program will be available and open to all students, not just those who need to catch up.”

Summer school classes will focus on academics but also include opportunities for social and emotional enrichment, allowing students to engage in sports, music, the arts etc., and more importantly spend time with their peers. “Providing summer programs for students is proven to play a huge role in narrowing academic achievement gaps and helping students achieve and maintain grade-level performance in reading and in math. In addition to the academic component, our intent is to provide recreational activities for the kids to help them overcome the social-emotional issues that this past year brought up,” Collins adds.

The summer program is free for MCSD students and funded with special pandemic Learning Loss Funds received by the District.

Classes will be offered in the following schools: Chenoweth Elementary, Fremont Elementary, Rivera Elementary, Sheehy Elementary, Clark Preschool as well as Distance Learning. Preschool will be offered at all four schools mentioned as well.

Students attending school in person will receive instruction for five hours a day, five days a week, except for preschoolers who will attend school for four hours a day, five days a week. Health and safety precautions currently in place will continue including wearing of masks, social distancing and more. Distance learning students will attend school virtually five days a week, which will consist of three hours of teacher-led learning time and two hours of independent learning daily.

The District is also providing Grab and Go breakfast and lunch, as well as transportation for all in-person students to make it easy and convenient for students and their families. Distance learning students can pick up meals at Summer Academy sites as well.

Parents have the option of signing up their child for four weeks or for the full eight-week program. The four-week program starts June 7 and ends on July 2. While the eight-week program starts on June 7 until July 30. Registration is now open and parents can call their child(ren)’s school to learn more or to register. More information is also available on the District’s website: www.mcsd.k12.ca.us or on their Facebook page.

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