Short summer: About 19,000 Wake County students to catch up with summer-learning program

COVID-19 and schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Thursday is the last day of school for many Wake County students, but it won’t be long before some of them head back to the classroom. About 19,000 WCPSS students will catch up after the pandemic in the summer learning program.

For the past year, Shilo DeShield has been teaching kindergarten from her computer.

It’s different than teaching in person, but the Southeast Raleigh Elementary School teacher said, “Once we got that groove going, it went really, really smoothly.”

The last day of school brings mixed emotions.

“I formed these relationships with the students, and more so with families this year than I’ve ever had before, so having to say goodbye to that is a little bit saddening,” DeShield said.

She’ll see some of her students again over the summer as part of the WCPSS summer learning program.

The state requires school districts to offer 150 hours of in-person learning to students who need extra help due to the effects of the pandemic. According to the district, roughly 19,000 students enrolled in summer learning.

DeShield said some of her current students will participate, and that’s why she wanted to teach.

“I can see where my students need a little more support, and I wanted to be the one to kind of carry them through,” she explained.

Students who are eligible for the summer program, based on test scores and teacher recommendations, were notified and given the option to take part.

DeShield hopes learning in-person will benefit students who struggled with aspects of virtual school.

“Group work so that students can model each other, that’s the part I think was a little bit difficult,” she said. “I know having that hands-on experience will definitely make a difference for them this summer.”

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