Fort Worth ISD officials are hosting a record summer learning session with more than 15,000 students enrolled.
The Summer Launch learning program began June 23 and will end July 22. The purpose is to allow students to either catch up or accelerate their learning and recover lost credits due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during the school year. This year, the program was opened to all students in the district.
“Historically, there’s been a stigma. It’s only for those students who have fallen behind. This year, we are inviting all students to summer school and as a result, we have tripled the number of students,” Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Dr. Kent Scribner said. “We know the pandemic has been extremely difficult for our families, irrespective of family income or home language.”
Areas of focus include math and literacy classes, but there are also activities related to STEM. Dr. David Saenz, chief innovation officer for Fort Worth ISD, said the activities are both academic and interactive.
“We have STEM programs in all of our high schools that are available to our high school kids, including early college experiences, but in order for our kids to be ready for that, we need to bring it to the elementary level,” Saenz said.
One of the 15,000 students enrolled in this year’s summer program is incoming fourth-grader, Alexander Padilla.
“I’m just thinking about learning more about math and reading, to be a lot smarter. It’s great meeting new friends,” Padilla said.
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Fifty of the 143 campuses in Fort Worth ISD are hosting the summer programs.
“They are concentrated in our lower-income communities, where students have the greatest need. We feel that it’s most important to invest our resources in those communities with students who have the greatest need,” Scribner said.
Fort Worth ISD returns to school for the 2021-22 academic year on Aug. 16. The district plans to begin the school year with in-person instruction.