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Atlanta students who fell behind during pandemic may face mandatory summer school

Atlanta students who fell behind during pandemic may face mandatory summer school
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Atlanta Public Schools may require summer school for public school students who fell behind in their studies due to coronavirus-related disruptions, superintendent Lisa Herring told CNN.

The district has resumed some in-person learning across its 87 schools, and is now analyzing the potential need for extra lessons for students at a particular educational or socioeconomic disadvantage, Herring told the network.

"When we're able to identify those students who are not proficient and above, and we know that they've had disrupted learning and that there has been loss, shouldn't we be thinking about the necessity of keeping them in front of us so that we could support and accelerate closing that gap?" Herring said. "And that represents a very specific population."

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She added that the district is also weighing possible changes to the entire year’s calendar in addition to its consideration of summer school.

"We're looking at the calendar. I think we have to," she told the network. "We started with four weeks where we've said, throughout the full day, with a focus on quality instruction and intervention and monitoring, and also enrichment and well-being."

As part of its reopening plan, the school district has announced a $2 million screening initiative that aims to eventually conduct at least 10,000 tests a week.

“The success of this mitigation strategy and our ability to return and keep students in school is based on high levels of staff and student participation,” Herring said at a recent news conference, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Outside of the vaccine, we believe this is the next best thing that we can possibly do.”

Herring’s comments come as major districts nationwide struggle to reach agreements to return to in-person learning nationwide.

The Chicago Teachers Union is set to vote on its own reopening proposal and has threatened to strike after the public school system and Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootBodycam footage of officer fatally shooting 13-year-old released Chicago mayor urges calm amid release of shooting video Public health doctors, Chicago mayor to throw first pitch in Cubs opener MORE (D) called for the immediate resumption of in-person classes.