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The ESY program will run as a summer school. Photo: Samantha Laub/AL DÍA News.
The ESY program will run as a summer school. Photo: Samantha Laub/AL DÍA News.

Expanded Summer school to begin for students that struggled in class amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The program will be hosted at 26 locations across Philadelphia from June 28 to Aug. 4.

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The School District of Philadelphia is opening extended Summer school programs for children who need a bit of catching up amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service, Extended School Year (ESY), which began June 28 2021, is giving a new opportunity for students that have been under undue pressure over the past year.

A total of 26 locations around the city will be hosting the new program. 

ESY services will be provided three days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a six-week period. Some sites will have both digital and in-person options available

ESY is focusing on students from K-12 grades, and the program will be offered from Monday, June 28, 2021, until Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. 

The new approach will help thousands of students who have fallen behind on classwork and prepare them for the upcoming school year.

Many children all over the city have been struggling with adjusting to virtual learning since March 2020, when the pandemic initially transpired in Philadelphia.

The School District of Philadelphia announced on its website that the ESY program will not only provide extended learning experiences, they will also help children engage with other children after a year of virtual learning.

“Summer learning programs are proven to maintain and advance students’ academic and social growth, it’s likely for students to experience learning loss during summer vacation,” the district wrote on its website.

Since students usually do not engage in learning activities in the summertime, children tend to lose focus on what they have learned the previous year. The new program hopes to change that trend.

“An academic Summer program that incorporates enrichment experiences is the perfect way to engage students and make sure they don’t forget the critical skills they have already learned,” it continued.

Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa told Action News that not only are students going to be provided with learning advantages this Summer, they will also be engaging in physical activities.

"The summer will be filled with enrichment activities like arts, sports throughout the week and a full-day summer camp experience,” Figueroa said.

The program is expected to receive an influx of students who need academic support and guidance to be up to date on their learning.

"Normally over the summer we serve about 4,000, 5,000 students," said Ali Robinson-Rogers, the executive director of the Office of Postsecondary Readiness.

Around 15,000 students are registered for the expanded programs so far.

Students will also be provided with breakfast and lunch. Transportation hubs will also be available across the city for students.

As for COVID-19, testing will be available for all students.

Despite the deadline passing for ESY registration, some parents may still be able to get their children into Summer camp activities being run.

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