Summer school will be held in July and August this year in two- to three-week blocks thanks to money provided to Durango School District 9-R in the CARES Act.
For elementary-age students, summer school will be held from July 21 to Aug. 7 at each of 9-R’s elementary schools.
For Miller and Escalante middle schools and Durango and Big Picture high schools, summer school will also be held in July and August. The first session will be held July 13 to July 25, and the second session July 27 to Aug. 7.
“It will be workshop focused with an emphasis on getting kids excited for reading, math, science – all the subjects,” said Superintendent Dan Snowberger. “It will be focused on closing the learning gap that always occurs in summer, but even more so now that we’ve had a 10-week gap in in-school learning.”
Classes will be held Monday through Thursday, keeping open opportunities for families to take long summer weekends.
Teachers have been encouraged to develop programs based on their passions. For example, if a teacher is interested in the Animas River, he or she is encouraged to develop a science program around the river.
Summer school this year might be even more valuable than past years to reacclimate students to in-person classroom learning, Snowberger said.
Gov. Jared Polis, in a meeting last week with Colorado school superintendents, told the school administrators that a return to in-person, in-class learning is virtually assured for next school year, Snowberger said.
The summer school program will cost about $1 million, but the money for it is provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, Snowberger said.
In addition to benefiting the students, teachers might welcome the opportunity to instruct summer sessions to augment their salaries.
Snowberger said teachers’ regular school-year salaries will likely be frozen to meet a budgetary shortfall caused by lowered tax revenues as the economy slowed to meet COVID-19 health restrictions.