|Record number of students set to attend summer school this year|
Millions of children this summer will participate in what's expected to be the largest summer-school program in history, powered by more than $1.2bn in targeted federal post-pandemic assistance from the American Rescue Plan. This year's programs face the task of teaching not just about math, history and English, but also addressing widespread mental health challenges among students, and in some cases, dealing with nutrition issues for children who missed out on weeks or months of school meals. Such demands have seen warn these enrichment programs aren't an instant panacea; among the concerns is that students who previously had trouble focusing on classroom work will have lost some of their coping skills. But experts also said this is a rare opportunity to focus on mental health and the underlying causes of disproportionate discipline, by training teachers to even more closely focus on the whole child. Help support quality local journalism like this. Subscribe "All of us, even adults, have fallen out of practice in being in the world with each other," said Matthew Soldner, chief evaluation officer for the federal Department of Education. "I think this would be wrong to think of this as a one-and-done sort of thing." Echoing his comments Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said: "We need summer school to be really something different than it has been before. It can't just be about remediation. It has to be about helping kids get their mojo back. We have to think about the entire next year for academic recovery, and we have to think about summer school as a shot in the arm."