Posted on July 6, 2021
Categories: Turn & Talk

Last week was an important milestone for our District, as it marked the first day of the first comprehensive summer programming of its kind within the School District of Philadelphia.

We just celebrated the end of an extremely unusual year in the beginning of June before we welcomed back more than 15,000 students and more than 2,000 staff on June 28 for summer programming, an opportunity for all students to extend their learning into the summer months.

As many of you already know, we expanded our summer programming considerably this year. Thanks to federal and state recovery dollars, we’ve been able to transition from the traditional concept of summer school to offering strong academic programming mixed with enrichment for students at every grade level. This will help support  our students’ academic and socio-emotional needs after a year of digital and hybrid learning, and offers an opportunity for everybody to focus on concepts and foundational elements they may have struggled with or extend their learning for summer learning gains.

Some of the exciting summer programming we are offering focuses on CTE skill development, project-based learning and social-emotional growth. Students entering Kindergarten can engage in a transition program designed to make them feel more confident when school begins, and our middle school students are participating in classes focused on career awareness and STEM. High school students have opportunities to improve their grades and access to entrepreneurship-focused programming, as well as paid internships through some location organizations, including Philadelphia Energy Authority, Hilco and Philadelphia Works. Work experiences and career exploration opportunities are also available to young people ages 12-24 through WorkReady Summer.

Implementing this programming could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the Office of Academic Supports, Office of Talent and City of Philadelphia who have been creative and collaborative in adapting to meet the unique needs of our students, while implementing an effective and comprehensive summer learning program.

I also want to acknowledge the efforts of our teachers from all grade levels and content areas who are supporting this programming and finding ways to engage learners in fun, yet curricular-driven opportunities.

These opportunities provide all students with access to a high-quality summer learning experience with supports in place to help them thrive and build the skills necessary to be successful next school year and in the years to come.