Friday, 03 February 2023

Putting Students First: Who needs summer school?

Kelseyville Unified Superintendent Dave McQueen. Courtesy photo.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. — It’s been a crazy year.

Whether you’re talking to students or teachers, they’ll tell you this school year feels like it has gone on for decades.

The good news is that the end is in sight, and hopefully next year will be closer to normal where students come to campus every day and teachers have the opportunity to connect with students often enough to recognize and address any gaps in learning before they get too big.

A small percentage of students did better than usual academically during the pandemic. They enjoyed distance learning because they find the social pressures of normal school highly distracting.

But most students missed their friends and didn’t like learning online. No matter how creative and wonderful the lessons, students just didn’t feel as engaged when school wasn’t in person — and their academic performance makes it clear that they’ve got some work to do if they want to be ready for next year’s curriculum.

As I mentioned in my last column, Kelseyville Unified School District is now offering free, on-demand tutoring 24 hours a day, seven days a week for homework help, test prep (for everything from a class quiz to the SAT), essay revisions and concept explanations.

Spanish speakers can access bilingual tutors in math, science, and social studies, as well as ESL/ELL support. We hope this will help students now and in the years to come.

This summer, we are offering in-person summer school for all interested Kelseyville Unified students weekdays July 6 through 30 with classwork from 8 a.m. to noon, then a half-hour lunch with dismissal at 12:30 p.m.

To make this more convenient for local families, we’ll provide transportation to and from school sites.

For elementary students, summer school will focus on critical skills in math, reading, and writing to bridge learning gaps and help prepare students for the next school year.

Mountain Vista Middle School will offer two programs: The Summer Math Academy, designed to address targeted math standards, and the AVID Excel Summer Bridge program for English Learner students. Kelseyville High will offer credit-recovery and learning-loss programs.

For all sites, on-campus COVID safety protocols will remain in place, including required face coverings and social distancing.

Those interested in registering their student should do so by May 17. Visit for access to the registration form or contact your child’s school for more information.

If you’re wondering whether your student would benefit from summer school, the short answer is probably yes.

Studies show that even during normal years, many students experience the “summer slide,” a loss of some of the knowledge they learned the year before.

This year, students cannot afford a slide since so many of them did not learn as much as they would have if they could have attended school in person.

Worst case scenario is that summer school will help students hold onto the knowledge they learned. Best case scenario is that students will be able to pick up additional knowledge and feel more confident going into the next school year.

If you decide against summer school, consider activities that will help your child engage in learning. If you’d like help coming up with those activities, ask their teacher for ideas.

Dave McQueen is superintendent for the Kelseyville Unified School District.

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