Liverpool Central School District tackles ‘COVID brain drain’ by expanding summer school programs

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LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Many students have experienced a learning loss throughout this pandemic called the ‘COVID brain drain.’ To help kids get back on track, the Liverpool Central School District is creating additional learning opportunities, specifically with its summer school program.

For more than a year, students have been forced to adapt to remote learning and hybrid plans, then more recently, going back to fully in-person instruction.

We’re at a place right now where we truly believe our students are significantly behind where they should be. They may not be behind where their peers are, but they’re behind where we think they should be.

Mark Potter, Superintendent, Liverpool Central School District

With learning curves and the ‘COVID brain drain,’ Dr. Potter, along with administrators, are making the decision to expand summer school programs to students in grades six through 12. In a normal year, summer school would only be offered to high schoolers.

“Our Chromebooks and our Google school platform is a phenomenal system. Unfortunately, it doesn’t meet all the needs of educating a student,” – Mark Potter, Superintendent, Liverpool Central School District

The exact details of the program are still in the works, but Dr. Potter says kids will either be in the classroom for one eight-week session or two four-week programs.

In order for us to really make some dynamic changes for our kids getting them back on track, some of these kids could be as far as a year behind. So, looking at where we need the kids to be and where we need to know where the kids are, we need to make adjustments, especially in our content. We need to have some systematic approach.

Mark Potter, Superintendent, Liverpool Central School District

Unlike summer school for high schoolers, which is a course-focused approach, the summer school program for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders isn’t going to be the typical sit at a desk all day and absorb the information a second time. Instead, it’s going to be a much more hands-on, collaborative approach.

“We’ve looked at our grade point averages, our report cards, our homework, information, recommendations coming from teachers, and looking at all the data points that we can put on the table and identify that there are really some kids who can benefit from these programs,” Dr. Potter explained.

Liverpool students will be going back to the classroom five days per week after Spring Break, which will be a time Dr. Potter and the administration will use to determine the best plan of action in order to get students back on track and succeed.

The details of the summer school program should be done by the first week of May. Students and families who need to sign up will be notified by the end of May.

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