Summer School Program Helps Students Catch Up After Pandemic Setbacks

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ALBANY, Ohio (WOUB) — The Alexander Local School District has launched an ambitious overhaul to its summer education program in response to academic setbacks related to the pandemic.

The district’s Summer Recovery Plan is a significant upgrade from previous summer school projects. The improvement was made possible by federal relief funds.

School board President Blake Regan said the program targets those in need of additional intervention to stay on track for graduation.

Students are being encouraged to attend for two to six weeks, during which they can recover credits through personalized instruction at an accelerated pace.

At a recent board meeting, Superintendent Lindsay Douglas shared that more than 10% of the district’s students are participating.

A summer student studies while finishing class credits in Alexander High School in Albany, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. “It is becoming more of the school responsibility to support emotional, and social support. And Alexander puts their money where their mouth is to make sure the kids aren’t falling behind.” [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Students are afforded additional services at the school through funding from the CARES act, and students are seeing that benefit by an increased teaching staff, free breakfast and lunches, and better transportation opportunities. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Cafeteria staff at Alexander High School prepare taco in a bag for a student, in Albany, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]
Students eat lunch in the Alexander High School cafeteria in Albany, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

Not only is Alexander helping students to recover, but the district is providing exceptional work opportunities for more than two dozen teachers.

Faculty employed for the summer can earn up to $67 an hour. That number, also made possible by federal funding, amounts to their typical daily pay while working far less hours.

Additionally, the schools will employ bus drivers and a handful of food service workers to maintain the supply of free meals for students.

“The future of this exact program is dependent upon results as well as continued funding availability,” Regan said in an email. “Future summer education programs may look different, but some form will exist as long as there is a need.”

With this project, Alexander joins districts across Athens County in an effort to improve summer education for students adversely affected by the pandemic.

“What we’re already doing with Athens is what a lot of our other local schools are doing,” Athens High School principal Chad Springer said. “We responded to the pandemic in a way that befitted Athens High School.”