By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
The Department of Education announced late Wednesday evening that summer school classes will begin a week earlier than previously stated.
Third through eighth-grade students and high schoolers who need to need to attend summer classes will now sit for online summer school starting on July 6, DOE spokesperson Danielle Filson said in an e-mail, classes were originally slated to begin on July 13.
Elementary school students will take classes for four days a week and finish up by August 11. Ninth through 12th graders will need to attend class five days a week until August 14.
“This will allow for continuous learning and give students and educators a break in August before the start of the next school year,” said Filson. “It will also give our families and educators time off in August, when hopefully there is an increased chance for potential vacations and outdoor activities. There is no change to duration or structure for summer learning programs.”
Filson added that the department would begin notifying parents of the schedule change late Wednesday. “ This will not impact our timeline for notifications to families or determinations for which students will be required or recommended to attend summer learning,” she wrote.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced that roughly 177,000 students will need to attend summer school this year, nearly 12 times as many students that attend last year due to schools transitioning to online learning given the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“You take away months of the school year in the much more effective setting of everyone being together in a school building where teachers can use all their skills for maximum impact, of course, it’s going to have an impact,” de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday. “And it’s going to be a negative impact.”
Although the city is anticipating a huge increase in the number of summer school students this year the number of teachers instructing these students will remain the same as last year at 6,000. Summer school this year will cost the DOE about $83 million, while last year the department spent about $200 million, according to spokesperson Danielle Filson.