FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Community Schools kicked off its summer school and Jump Start program on Monday.
“I don’t think you can take summer off, and I don’t think we’re going to take summer off for the next three years at least,” said FWCS Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel.
Dr. Daniel said the district has about 1,200 students it said it would like to have continue school into the summer for two three week sessions in grades K-8.
The sessions run June 7-25 and July 6-23.
“It’s been some time since we’ve done that. We have a Jump Start program that’s running as well, but this is above and beyond that,” said Dr. Daniel. “I think it’s also important to say this, we also realize that these gaps that existed prior and I’m talking gaps of learning… This [the last year] has really caused us to focus deeply, and purposefully.”
To help shrink those learning gaps, FWCS has also implemented a mentoring program, modeled after the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program for this summer.
“So, I’m going to be a big brother, if you will,” said Dr. Daniel. “Many of us are going to be, because I think mentoring is also another piece that we need to bring to this equation.”
According to Dr. Daniel, conversations about how to continue this program into the 2021-2022 school year are being held on a “much larger scale than we’ve ever had in the past.” This would include potentially expanding the program to where high school kids would be mentoring middle school and middle school kids would mentor elementary school kids.
“We’ll critique it, analyze it, see what we need to adjust or add,” said Dr. Daniel.
The superintendent also added that he’s grateful for the teaching staff, who he says went above and beyond this school year.
“I’m so thankful though that there are some that are saying ‘hey I can do this’ also during the summer,” said Dr. Daniel. “We didn’t say there’s going to be one location or two locations we placed summer school in every building purposely. We wanted those teachers who are familiar with those students to work with those students on a daily basis this summer.”
The teachers will also have training and professional learning sessions this summer.
To see the full list of what FWCS is offering this summer, click here.