School districts will help students get back on track during summer

Remediation and enrichment programs will be offered

Phil Keren April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Cuyahoga Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols speaks during a board of education meeting that occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic. The district recently released a plan detailing how it would help students during the summer.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — The two school districts in the city this summer will provide help to students who are navigating challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of schools across the state recently published "extended learning plans" that outline how they will address the needs of each child who may be struggling after the pandemic year. 

Gov. Mike DeWine requested every district publish a plan to their website by April 1 on how they will "work with their communities to help students advance and make up for any learning that may have been lost or delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic."

The plans are not binding and can be adjusted as needed, but DeWine asked schools to consider extending the current school year, beginning the new year early, extending the school day or instituting summer programs, tutoring, remote options, and other remedial or supplemental activities.

Here's a look at Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge school districts' plans.

Cuyahoga Falls City School District

The Cuyahoga Falls City School District has shared its plan online at https://www.cfalls.org/ and under the tabs, Departments, Curriculum and Instruction, Extended Learning Plan.

The district is slated to receive $2.245 million in funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds, or ESSER II, according to district treasurer Kristy Stoicoiu. She added the district received $570,863 from ESSER I.

These programs will be offered using ESSER II funds:

Julie Dudones, the district's coordinator of sixth through 12th+ curriculum, said the district "is offering literacy-based summer programming to all incoming kindergarten through outgoing fifth grade learners." This program will be offered June 1 through 17.  It will run four days a week for 2 1/2 hours per day. Language arts and math will be offered for fourth and fifth grade students with a combined focus. 

"All Cuyahoga Falls students will be able to attend for free," Dudones said. "The district is not accepting students from outside of the district for elementary programming."

Special education will offer an Extended School Year (ESY) program on Monday and Tuesday each week, for 2 1/2 hours per day, from June 7 through Aug. 3. ESY is open for all students who qualify and have it documented in their Individualized Education Programs. This will be offered both in-person and remotely.

Middle school students will be able to participate in a five-week program, four days per week, four hours per day, from June 1 through July 1, with an academic focus on language arts  and math, Dudones said. This will be offered free of charge for students enrolled in the district; students from outside the district are able to enroll for a fee.

Math and science enrichment programming will be offered to outgoing eighth graders.  There will be a two-week focus on math from June 1-June 11, and a two-week focus on science from June 14-25.  Middle school band will be offered two hours per day for 10 days for current sixth and seventh grade students, from June 14-25.  

High school students will be able to participate in a five-week program, four days per week, four hours per day, from June 1 through July 1, with a focus on earning high school credit. This will be offered to all learners, including those seeking credit recovery or those taking courses for advancement. The high school program is free of charge for students enrolled in the district; students from outside the district are able to enroll for a fee.

Online registration for middle and high school students is at tinyurl.com/SumReg2021  Classes will be at DeWitt Elementary School for elementary students, and at Cuyahoga Falls High School for both middle and high school students.

"The district will also be offering enrichment opportunities in physical education, music, art, and world languages," Dudones said.

The district will provide transportation to all students attending summer programs. Meals will also be provided for all students in the district throughout the summer.

Woodridge Local School District Superintendent Walter Davis speaks during a special board of education meeting in summer 2020. The district recently released a plan designed to help students during the upcoming summer break.

Woodridge Local School District

The Woodridge Local Schools recently posted its plan on the district's website, www.woodridge.k12.oh.us. Enrichment and remedial programming is planned for all students.

"We based our extended learning plan on the fact that Intervention has two components," said Walter Davis, the district's superintendent. "There is remediation — for kids who haven’t quite mastered a skill — and there is enrichment — for kids who have mastered a concept and can go further. Our plan is a combination of remedial and enrichment opportunities for our students."

Davis said he asked his staff to create programming based on students' "passions and interests."

Plans include remedial intervention services in reading and math for kindergarten through eighth grade, and credit recovery options for high school students. Enrichment opportunities for all grades also will be included, with plans for field trips, gardening, STEM-related material, coding, musical theater, chess club, music, Spanish, Lego-related activities, and short story writing.

One option listed is Berry Good Business, where participating students in sixth through eighth grade can go to a strawberry farm to pick berries, learn about business, and then return to school to make strawberry shortcake.

Davis added the elementary school will serve as the host site for Camp Invention, a summer STEM program for K-6 students.

Educators also will incorporate social-emotional learning activities into their lessons during the summer months.  

Remedial Intervention Session 1 will be offered: June 14-17, June 21-24 and June 28-July 1.

Remedial Intervention Session 2 will be offered: Aug. 2-5 and Aug. 9-12.

Transportation will be provided for the remedial intervention sessions, which will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday through Thursday in each of the aforementioned weeks.

"The remediation program will allow kids to have some more time, digging a bit deeper with reading and math skills," Davis said.

At-home learning resources will also be provided to students and parents.

The superintendent emphasized that remedial and enrichment programs are open to all students, but noted registration invitations will be sent to students that teachers "feel would benefit from remediation."

The registration process has not started yet.

Davis said more programming will be added to the plan and encouraged parents to check the website regularly for more opportunities.

The district will offer students a chance to tour the schools and ask questions as they transition from virtual to in-person instruction. Appointments can be made at the board of education office at 330-928-9074.

The district has not been notified of how much it will receive in the newest round of federal stimulus funding, Davis said.

Editor's note: Reporter Jennifer Pignolet contributed to this story.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil. Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com