CANTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Baker-Polito Administration announced summer learning opportunities and the availability of more than $70 million in funding for school districts and community organizations to offer summer learning and recreational programs that will help students, who have been impacted by remote learning.

Baker joined with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education James Peyser, and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Galvin Middle School in Canton.

According to a news release sent to 22News, students at every grade level will have opportunities to take part in a mix of academic and recreational programs offered at schools, after-school providers, community colleges, and recreation sites.

“Our administration has long maintained that children are best served academically, socially, and emotionally when learning in-person and in the classroom,” Governor Baker said. “After a challenging school year for students, teachers, and staff, the focus must now shift to recouping any learning loss experienced remotely to ensure that our children are equipped for success in the classroom and beyond.”

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will help school districts launch Acceleration Academies, which is a program that will allow students to learn and build skills working intensively on one subject in small, hands-on learning environments.

The administration will commit up to $25 million in grants for districts to operate Acceleration Academies using federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Response (ESSER) discretionary funds. This will be a multi-year program that is aimed to impact more than 50,000 students statewide each year.

Acceleration Academies will include: 

  • Early Literacy Academies for incoming kindergarteners, rising 1st and 2nd graders
  • Math Acceleration Academies for rising 3rd and 4th graders, as well as 8th and 10th graders.

The DESE will also offer summer school matching grants up to $15 million in federal funds for districts to offer four to six week in person programs with a mix of in person academic and recreational activities.

According to the news release, this year’s high school graduates will be able to participate in Summer Acceleration to College, a new program that provides recent graduates access to credit-bearing math and English courses at no cost to them as they prepare for college.

Fourteen community colleges in the Commonwealth will participate in this program, expected to be funded at $1 million. 

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) will also support school districts to offer Summer Step Up which is a new program aimed at giving extra support to young learners entering school in the fall.

All middle schools in the Commonwealth returned to full-time in-person learning this week. Elementary schools returned on April 5, and high schools will be required to return by May 17.