Just as we had to adjust learning in the back half of the 2019-2020 school year, 2020 summer learning also had to undergo some adjustments. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the status of summer school this year was one of the many initially unanswerable questions. Through creativity and hard work, we ultimately figured out how to provide effective summer instruction in collaboration with the neighboring Schodack Central School District.
Due to Governor Cuomo’s executive orders, the Ichabod/Schodack collaborative summer school program needed to shift online this year. There’s a total of 86 students enrolled in summer learning between the two districts, including students from each one of Ichabod Crane’s schools.
When asked about adapting the summer learning program for the COVID-19 era, Middle School Co-Principal Anthony Marturano said that the need for this opportunity was even more critical than in years past.
“Some students had a more challenging time than others adjusting to the abrupt shift to remote learning back in March and that ended up affecting their academic performance,” said Mr. Marturano. “We all know that remote learning cannot fully replace the classroom experience and of course we’d like to offer in-person summer school, but given the times we had to adapt. I think we’ve structured the remote summer learning program in the best possible way, giving these students more one-on-one time with their teachers who can directly focus on topics they struggle with.”
The Summer 2020 program breaks down like this:
For these students, we’ve structured summer learning more like a virtual tutoring program where students have real-time digital learning sessions with their teachers.
Participation in the summer program is voluntary and isn’t a consequence for failing a class this past school year. We determined which students could benefit from summer learning after multiple discussions between parents/guardians, teachers and administrators. These discussions not only helped determine which individual students would benefit from the program but also the specific learning topics they needed extra help with and could focus on during the summer.
Their summer learning sessions are run by certified teachers in small groups of no more than 3 students for about 50 minutes, 2-3 times per week. The length of time/frequency of instruction helps the students not feel overloaded during what is technically vacation time and small group sizes ensure each student gets the proper amount of individualized instruction.
For K-3 students, English Language Arts (ELA) is a primary focus and for grade 4-8 students, ELA and Math are the primary focus depending on individual student needs.
High school summer learning this year is a virtual credit recovery for students who did not pass a class (or classes) this past school year.
This can take the shape of direct digital instruction from a certified teacher or a teacher supervising the students’ work more independently on APEX, a credit recovery program. In some instances, certain students are using APEX with more direct assistance from a teacher.
High School Summer 2020 courses with direct digital teacher instruction include:
- U.S. History
- Global 9 and 10
- Spanish I
- English 9 and 10
- Phys. Ed.
Summer 2020 courses offered through APEX with teacher supervision and/or assistance include:
- Advanced Algebra
- Earth Science
- Algebra (year 1)