State targeting in-person summer learning partnership

Boston Statehouse

FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, a Los Angeles Unified School District student attends an online class at the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood in Los Angeles. A new federal survey finds that nearly half of the nation’s elementary schools were open for full-time, in-person instruction last month, but the share of students learning in-person has varied greatly by region and race. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) – State education officials are working toward launching a partnership aimed at enhancing summer programming, particularly for students who have had limited experience with in-person schooling, Early Education Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy said Tuesday.

Aigner-Treworgy told the Board of Early Education and Care that her agency is working with the Executive Office of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on the partnership, which would support school districts and involve national and community partners, including the United Way.

She said it could be able to reach up to 50 communities and will “amplify the coordination and the duration of services offered through the summer for in-person learning, specifically targeted to children who have had very limited in-person school experiences heading into next year.”

Massachusetts school buildings were initially closed in March 2020, and as in-person learning has been phased back in, families are able to keep their students learning remotely through the end of this school year. Aigner-Treworgy said there are some cases where a student going into third grade in the fall could have been attending school in-person for less than six months in total.

“We know that for young children entering school, these relationships with the teacher, familiarity with location, and for families who may have not have had as much experiences with the school district to date, that these may be really critical summer weeks to try to capture some of those important collaborations,” she said.

Aigner-Treworgy said the new partnership is not designed to “replace or replicate” the summer plans districts are already developing but to “enhance or expand or deepen that opportunity.”

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