West Springfield schools preparing for summer learning programs

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Things are looking brighter for Massachusetts schools that are nearing the end of the school year.

West Springfield brought back all students into their schools this month, after a year of remote and hybrid learning.

“We don’t want people to think kids haven’t learned all year,” said Superintendent Timothy Connor. “They have learned. Just not at the same level as years past, we just have to accelerate that.”

To help make up for the lost learning time, the state has increased the funding for summer learning, so students in every grade level can take part in academic and recreational programs.

In West Springfield, summer learning programs will take place at the high school, where they have air conditioning, so students can be more comfortable learning inside. Also, even though the state has eased its COVID-19 restrictions, they are still taking full precautions, especially since students can’t be vaccinated yet.

“We’re not at the end of this, we still have time with this pandemic, unfortunately,” said Connor. “If we keep doing the right things, the big thing for us is keeping the kids in school.”

Connor told 22News there were 26 cases among students in a week and a half period after Easter, but many were asymptomatic.

Besides keeping cases down, another challenge is getting enough staff to lead summer programs, since many teachers are burnt out from the intense work-load they had to take on this school year.
The school year ends on June 21st in West Springfield, and they plan to begin summer learning shortly after July 4th.

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