Covid delays, but does not stop Summer School

Covid-19 has had an effect on many aspects of our lives as of late, and the summer school program is no expectation. Thankfully, staff has come up with a plan to allow students to attend the program in-house this summer with a few modifications, as to be expected. Despite these changes, this year’s attendees should be ready for another summer full of fun and learning.

One of the modifications to this year’s program is the number of students enrolled. In years past, the Targeted Services program has enrolled 100-plus students, including migrant families who have made the trip for summer work. This year, there are currently 50 students enrolled, although numbers are expected to increase slightly as migrant families begin to arrive in search of work. With eight classrooms available for use, the program will be able to adhere to the recommended 9:1 student to teacher ratio, as advised by the Minnesota Department of Education for summer programs.

Smaller class sizes will allow the program to adhere to current social distancing guidelines as well. Classrooms will be set up with desks placed six feet apart facing the same direction, hallways will be equipped with arrows to regulate traffic flow, classes will be held outside as much as possible, as long as weather permits, and students are encouraged to wear masks although it is not required. Despite the precautions being taken to keep students safe while attending the program, students are still encouraged to interact and socialize with each other, just at a safe distance.

Regardless of these modifications, the goal of the Sleepy Eye Migrant and Targeted summer programs remains the same, which is to foster an environment where students are able to receive the support and supplemental instruction needed to ensure competency in grade level standards, thus resulting in their continued success during the regular school year. Instruction in the areas of math and reading will remain a focus, as well as daily reading interventions. While the curriculum objectives are rigorous, students and staff understand the importance of maintaining the education of the whole child. Due to this, another area of focus in this year’s program will be safe socialization. Due to two months of distance learning, students are craving social interaction. Making this a priority is important to students’ mental health.

Summer school will begin July 1. Migrant students will be attending Monday through Friday and Targeted students will attend Monday through Thursday, through July 31. This allows just enough time to spare before the upcoming school year.

As always, we look forward to another summer filled with learning and excitement.