SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah-Chatham County students have not been back in the classroom five days a week since March 2020. The district is planning a robust summer learning program to help students face challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaders say EMBRACE, their newly designed summer learning model was designed in response to the pandemic. It will operate five days a week in-person and is designed to help the whole child.
There will be two 15 day-sessions and the first is set to start on June 3 and is open to all Savannah-Chatham County Public School System students at no cost. The district will provide transportation and requires strict attendance for all students participating.
So far leaders say they have about 5,000 students signed up for EMBRACE, and will have around 600 teachers to help.
Officials at SCCPSS say there was a committee developed to create EMBRACE and research the best approaches. They say the program will offer academic recovery, but also give students Career Technical Agricultural Education camp opportunities, social and emotional learning and more.
“For us summer school has never had a negative connotation. It’s always been about catching up children, it’s always been about filling in those learning gaps, getting more information so that you can be successful in the next grade level,” said Dr. Vallerie Cave, SCCPSS Associate Superintendent, K-12 School Transformation. “So this year we are making sure that we’re embracing the whole child. We’re making sure that we’re tapping into their interest as well as their talents as well as their needs to be able to accommodate everything that they need to be successful for next year.”
Leaders say it is vital for their students to make up for learning loss caused by the pandemic. Instruction will be delivered in small chunks of time and in engaging ways.
The deadline to apply for EMBRACE learning is Tuesday at noon. Parents can apply through email or call 912-395-5582.