Toledo Public Schools will again use a collective approach to summer school this year, joining with city and nonprofit agencies to offer a hodgepodge of programs throughout the district.
The piecemeal approach is an expansion of efforts begun last year to provide instructional remediation and enrichment at a low cost to TPS by bringing partner organizations into the schools.
There will be programming at more than a dozen schools, with about a half-dozen outside entities providing lessons, activities, or food.
Romules Durant, TPS assistant superintendent and pending interim superintendent, said the collective approach would combat “summer slide,” the loss of knowledge over summer break that hits low-income students particularly hard.
“Students who do not get the enriched activities over the course of summertime find themselves losing ground in academic experiences,” he said.
Last year, the YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo served as TPS’ summer-school provider at three locations, offering arts and crafts, physical activities, and a reading program developed and run by local nonprofit Partners in Education.
This year, the program is called Kidz Express, and will be at Walbridge, Keyser, Garfield, and Leverette elementary schools.
Becky Spencer, executive director for Partners in Education, said students who were in last year’s reading program averaged a 19 percent improvement in their vocabulary.
Scott High School will have, among other activities, Success Through Review, Incentive, Vision and Effort, or the STRIVE program, an initiative run by Toledo Police Department’s Police Probation Team, Officer Flo Wormely and her partner, Officer Byron Daniels. Students who failed any part of the Ohio Graduation Test will receive tutoring and can retake the test. There will be sports, lessons on life skills and etiquette, and self-expression components.
“It’s like a mini summer school or camp,” Officer Wormely said.
The district will directly offer several summer school options, including a computer-based high school credit recovery program that TPS unveiled last year. Each high school will offer the fee-based program. Coursework can be done at home, though students must spend at least two of four weekly sessions at school.
The district also will hold a “jump start,” program beginning in late May in each of its six learning communities. The intervention program is for second and third graders who do not read at grade level.
An aviation camp will be offered at the district’s Aviation Center at Toledo Express Airport, and the district will also have camps at the Toledo Technology Academy at the former Devilbiss High School and its Natural Science Technology Center on Elmer Drive.
Most of the programs will have free lunches provided by Feed Lucas County Children, and there also will be open meal sites at several schools for children, regardless if they are TPS students.