The Cambridge School District will move ahead with some form of summer school, either virtual or in-person.
Based on a recommendation from CES principal and summer school director Chris Holt, it will hold a four-week session in July, focused on academics.
The four-week session will be similar to the amount of time summer school has been offered in previous years, Holt said, just starting later. Holt said Cambridge usually offers about four weeks of classes in June, and two weeks of a jump start program in August.
“Hopefully this adjustment will promote the health and safety of our students and staff...and promote closure to the 2019-2020 school year,” Holt said in an email.
No in-person summer school can be held on school grounds until after June 30, Holt said, which led administrators to choose July.
“There was a very strong feeling that yes, of course, we’d love to have face-to-face summer school,” Holt said. Administrators are weighing that option as July approaches.
If summer school goes virtual, Holt said, enrichment classes may be hard to plan and execute. Holt said they’d be focused on academic work.
“I sense that there’s a lot of compromise to the last three months that we’re executing here,” said board vice president Jim Womble. “Trying to emphasize a jump start on as many kids...as possible, just seems like (a) high priority.”
“Perhaps summer school is even more critical and important“ this year, Holt said.
School Board members suggested keeping students connected with their teachers from the current school year to maintain consistency, and finding ways to keep their skills sharp.
In other matters, the School Board also voted to allow the Cambridge Community Activities Program to use its CAP C.A.R.E. facilities in Cambridge Elementary School beginning later this month.
Under new Safer-At-Home guidelines, CAP C.A.R.E can reopen as a state-licensed childcare center, said CAP director Lesli Rumpf.
However, CAP needed the district’s permission to use the CAP C.A.R.E. center in the fifth-grade wing of the elementary school.
“It is the school district’s facility and the school district’s decision,” Rumpf said.
CAP C.A.R.E. plans to reopen as early as May 26, offering services to families that are already enrolled.
Rumpf said CAP C.A.R.E. would serve from 28 to 35 students that already use the service.
Rumpf said staff plan to take student temperatures before children enter the care center, limit parent entrance to the building, block off the rest of the school and offer regular sanitation.
“I really appreciate you all being willing to offer this essential service,” Board member Courtney Reed Jenkins said.