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Tulsa Public Schools automatically enrolling struggling students in summer school this year

TPS makes changes to summer school
Posted at 4:03 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 19:08:11-04

TULSA, Okla. — Teachers at Tulsa Public Schools are counting down the days until summer. But with the next season there's a fear students won't keep up.

"They lapse in not only academia but also in how they interact with other students. They forget the rules of the classroom, we have to re-integrate the rules the first week back," said David Owen at Unity Learning Academy.

This year, more than 6,000 students that are struggling in school will be pre-enrolled, compared to previous years when the district just recommended this step to families.

Staff at TPS said about 40 percent of learning is lost over the summer. It's an obstacle the district is looking to overcome to keep students on track.

"The meals and the relationships that they have with adults at school really gives them a firm foundation for all of the learning work that they're engaging in when they're in school. We want to make sure that those kinds of opportunities are available year-round," deputy chief of academics Danielle Neves said.

The summer academy will include breakfast and lunch at all sites, as well as after-school care with community partners for those who need it. Owen said he watches students struggle to get fed every week.

"They don't know where the next meal is coming from. Sometimes I purchase meals for them, little snacks in the classroom, because I know they're coming from a disadvantaged place. Monday morning, they're here quick, because they want to get a meal, because they probably didn't eat the whole weekend," he said.

Families can opt out if they choose, and the district will work with parents who are interested in other learning options.

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