By Sydney Holzknecht, OMN Photographer
The Corvallis School District has programs planned for students of all grade levels that will take place this upcoming summer that will include academic and foundational skill recovery and credit recovery.
The district is partnering with the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation to offer the various learning opportunities that will be available to students. The programs will be offered to elementary, middle and high school students targeting curriculum such as academics, enrichment, social communications, credit recovery and high school transition.
According to Corvallis School Board Director Terese Jones, the programs being offered for various grade levels will be focused on rebuilding and developing different skills. These scheduled programs will include different camps and credit recovery courses. High school students will be given the opportunity to take programs geared towards any credit deficiencies. This can help students that are in need of credits concerning their eligibility for graduation.
“I think it just reflects how committed our community is,” Jones said. “The CPSF is grant-funded, so they raised money to support our district and how exciting it is that they have within this community garnered enough support to put $200,000 worth of educational opportunities for our kids. That really speaks to our community’s commitment to our youth.”
CPSF Executive Director Liv Gifford said that they have doubled the size of programs for students compared to what is normally offered because of the pandemic. That is because they know many students need to make up for lost schooling and experiences.
“They’ve had different experiences, they’ve had valid experiences, but definitely some support during the summer can benefit a lot of kids I think,” Gifford said.
Gifford said that they expect the number of students enrolled in these programs to be about a thousand. This predicted amount is out of the 6,700 students in the district.
“Based on the number of kids that are planning to come back for some portion of in-person learning, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the community is feeling ready to let our kids learn in person,” Jones said. “They’re feeling ready to do what is needed to make that possible, so if there are kids who need those services, my hunch is that we’re going to see those programs used at a pretty high capacity. Maybe not 100%, but we’re not going to be talking about 10 or 15% either.”
Jones said that a large number of students are estimated to attend these summer programs, but the district is unsure of the exact amount, given that it is still early on in the registration process. Another reason can be how students will not know if they need to register for credit recovery programs until closer to the end of the school year.
According to Teaching and Learning Coordinator Sabrina Wood, the district is following all of the current guidelines from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority. The key point is that all individuals wear a mask and practice physical distancing. These regulations are further articulated in ODE’s “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” guidance. These are required to be followed until changes are made on a state or national level.
“I think all of these camps have been planned with social distancing in mind,” Gifford said. “Since students are now reentering school buildings, not all students but many students, by summertime, we’ll have more experience and practice with school protocols and the school district should be in a strong position to make health and safety decisions around summer programs.”
Jones said that one important goal for this summer is to get students reconnected with in-person learning being that they were unable to experience it for a year. Another is to get these students caught up with their credits and to give them opportunities for resocialization. This will prepare teachers and students for class instruction this upcoming fall semester.
“I think our hope is that summer programs will give students a chance to reengage with school in a meaningful way and that they will create a longer runway for school in the fall,” Gifford said.