Summer programs to address learning loss due to COVID-19

Sumner County Schools Director of Instruction Scott Langford briefed Sumner County Board of Education members on the summer programs available to students at a board retreat in April.

The Sumner County Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to appropriate $2.1 million for summer programs geared toward learning loss related to COVID-19.

Local school districts were instructed to develop learning loss bridge camps and summer learning camps to remediate student learning loss as part of the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act passed by state legislators in January, according to Sumner County Schools Spokesperson Jeremy Johnson.

The Summer Scholars program will be open to all current Kindergarten through eighth-grade students enrolled in Sumner County Schools beginning June 7. The program will run through July 1.

The programs will offer before and after care as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks at the following elementary and middle schools:

J.W. Wiseman Elementary School, Westmoreland Elementary, H.B. Williams Elementary, Millersville Elementary, Guild Elementary, Benny Bills Elementary, Station Camp Elementary, Madison Creek Elementary, George Whitten Elementary, Gene Brown Elementary, Nannie Berry Elementary, Station Camp Middle, Knox Doss at Drakes Creek Middle, White House Middle, Portland East Middle, and Shafer Middle schools.

Daily instruction will include classes in Math, ELA, PE, Science, STEM and special STREAM activities like growing plants, film cannister rockets and CD race cars geared toward making summer learning fun and engaging.

Data released by Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education in September estimated a 50 percent decrease in proficiency rates in third grade reading and a projected 65 percent decrease in proficiency in math resulted from COVID-19 school closures from March through the summer months of 2020.

“This data highlights the immense challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for our students and educators,” said Gov. Lee.

Sumner County Schools opened in August using a hybrid model of in-person and distant learning with elementary school students attending classes in person most of the school year.

In addition to the Summer Scholars program for elementary and middle school students, Sumner County Schools will also offer Live Recovery Classes at each high school in the subjects of Algebra I, Algebra II, Personal Finance, Geometry, Spanish I and II, Physical Science, and English I and II.

The local school district also approved the funding for a “High School Interest Camp” in which special classes will be offered over the summer in forensic science, oil painting, introduction to the culinary arts, photography, and computer science/web design.

Parents are urged to contact their local school for enrollment information.