Alachua County Schools Form Summer Plan

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As one of the strangest summer sessions in recent memory begins on Wednesday, high school students in Alachua County are preparing in different ways.

Last week, some students set foot on their school campus for the first time in over a month. Others returned to collect their graduation caps and gowns. Even more, prepared for what summer school could be like.

Alachua County recovery courses, known as CROP, are traditionally taught through an online program that is taken in person on school campuses. Now students have the option of completing summer school completely at home – by collecting packets of paper – or on campus, using the school’s computer labs which will reopen on a handful of campuses.

A key factor in ensuring student success in the summer of 2020, and every summer, is ensuring that all students have access to the tools they need to learn. Apparently before the coronavirus, an achievement gap existed in Alachua County between low-income students and their more affluent peers. Often, students who do not have access to books or the Internet stop learning during the summer while their peers are still able to accumulate knowledge. Providing each student with the resources they need to succeed helps bridge this gap.

Santa Fe High School teacher Elizabeth Treese is one of the educators overseeing CROP this summer. At his school, the computer lab will be open, as per CDC guidelines, so that students have the opportunity to be surrounded by teachers and peers as they complete their summer courses.

“I am delighted to see the children again and to see them again at school,” said Treese. “I think it will help them.

Alachua County bus driver Sondra Jones reads her “Free Internet” sign on the body of her school bus, parked at Biven’s Cove Apartments on Southwest 13th Street. (Sara Riley-Drussell / WUFT News)

In addition, since the students left the classroom, Alachua County has provided laptops and access to Internet hotspots, allowing all students to access their courses online and to their duties. This practice will continue throughout the summer, so that students without access to a computer lab will still have the option of taking summer courses online.

A smart way to provide Internet access to students across the district is to equip school buses with Internet hotspots and allow them to park in residential areas for a few hours, giving students time to get around. log in and complete their homework. Sondra Jones, a county bus driver, said there are between 80 and 90 buses that leave during the week to provide students with internet access. While students are not allowed to board the buses, they have a three-hour block to log into the hotspot and stay on top of their homework.

A big part of the transition to online learning, especially during the summer, is making sure students and teachers have the support and access they need to communicate with each other. Santa Fe High School principal Elizabeth LeClear said the district has been very helpful during the initial transition to online learning, and that support will continue into the summer semester.

“When you think about being compassionate and gracious, you are really trying to make sure that everyone is comfortable and that everyone is where they need to be so that we can meet the needs of our children.” , LeClear said.


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