SAN ANTONIO – School districts across Bexar County are expanding their summer school programs to help students who fell behind this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Northside ISD, every high school in the district will be hosting summer school this year. Typically, only one high school hosts summer school.
“We’ll be offering our high school credit protection, we’ll be offering high school credit retrieval, we’ll be offering some acceleration for some of those students who may need it. We’re also going to offer some high school advancements for those students who want to get ahead, but this is all being done on every single one of the high school campuses and we haven’t had that set up before,” said Valeria Sisk, principal at Warren High School.
Sisk said students faced different challenges this past school year.
“There’s been a lot of at home distractions that take them away from being fully involved in the learning. There’s lots of our students who went to work. You know, parents lost jobs,” Sisk said.
At Warren High School, about 100 students typically attend summer school, but this year more than 700 students will be attending.
“The ultimate goal, this summer, is just to give these students an opportunity to recover some of the learning that has been lost,” Sisk said.
Sisk said summer school will be in person. Different resources will also be available, including counselors to support students.
Warren High School junior Jacob Chandler, who will be attending summer school this year, said remote learning during the pandemic was challenging.
“I became lazy over time, didn’t want to do anything really. I just fell behind a lot,” Chandler said.
Chandler said COVID-19 had quite the impact on his family as well.
“My grandpa got COVID, two times. He was hospitalized,” Chandler said.
Sisk said has a message for the students who have fallen behind.
“This is your future. It’s not over. Don’t tap out. We are here to help you be successful. And so, let’s just get this done. The pandemic won’t stop us from what we really need to do,” Sisk said.
Northside ISD will also be offering 39 summer school sites for elementary school students and five for middle school students.
North East ISD has also expanded summer school this year. Typically, summer school is offered at a handful of campuses, but this year they are offering it at more than 30 different schools and are expecting to serve approximately 7,000 students.
San Antonio ISD will be offering summer school as well, to PK-12th grade students. They are planning for 20,000 students in summer school this year.