Free WCSD Summer School Program Plans for Students

Update:The district said Wednesday afternoon that summer school hours could be extended beyond four hours due to additional funding. The district did not yet know how many hours, but said it would likely be more than four, as previously reported by district officials.

The Washoe County School District will offer free summer school to all students Tuesday through Thursday for four weeks this summer.

The district is expected to release the details in a call and email to parents this week. It has not yet released information on how to register or how long the school day is. The plan originally called for a four-hour school day, but the district could get additional funding to add hours.

“Our summer school program will provide all students with opportunities in a flexible, stress-free environment,” Superintendent Kristen McNeill said.

The district said the summer school is one of the ways it is working to overcome learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal COVID-19 relief funds are expected to pay for the program.

The district said it expects school stimulus measures to be taken at least two years after school buildings closed last year and a difficult 2020-21 school year.

The district said chronic absenteeism has affected students in all grades, including elementary students who have the option of full-time in-person instruction. There were also a record number of absences among middle and high school students who attended school in person every other day.

ICYMI: Half of high school students chronically absent; 1/3 failing at least one subject

13 things to know about summer school

  • The district said it will be available to all students and the focus will be on remediation and enrichment. It will be free.
  • Not all schools will have curricula, as some schools are undergoing renovations. But all students will benefit from transportation to regional school sites for programs. Transportation will be provided to all except those within walking distance of a program.
  • Lunch and breakfast will be provided.
  • In-person programs will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The original plan was for the program to last four hours, but hours could be added due to additional funding.
  • The programs will take place over four weeks, from June 21 to July 15.
  • The district will also offer an online virtual option that students can complete at their own pace. It will not be broadcast live.
  • Registration will be required so that the district can plan staff and programs.
  • For elementary students, the program will emphasize reading, language arts and math.
  • The college curriculum will focus on science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts.
  • High school courses will emphasize credit recovery as well as adding credits for students who are on track to earn credits.
  • All programs must include social and emotional learning. The district said last year’s trauma had an impact on students’ mental well-being.
  • The district said it also plans to have a program for incoming high school students.
  • The district will have an extended school year program that will run five days a week for students with disabilities.

Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read his journalism here. Consider supporting his work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal.