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30K students in Fulton County plan to enroll in summer school

Metro school districts are reporting a surge in students planning to take summer classes.

ATLANTA — While the school year is finally winding down, the learning will continue with summer school. Some districts around the metro are reporting a higher enrollment than in previous years. 

Education officials said this is good news because even some of the best students have been affected academically by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last year, parents, teachers, and students have tried to adapt to virtual learning. Some were able to get the hang of it, but school administrators from multiple districts have said students can benefit from additional help through summer school.

"When we look at the learning impact from covid on our student K-12 we know that every student has been impacted," Clifford Jones, chief academic officer for Fulton County Schools, said.

Jones said they are expecting 30,000 students to enroll in the summer program. That's one-third of the student body population. During a typical year, the district has around 7,000 students enroll for summer classes.

Jones said the district has worked with Georgia State University to analyze its data.

"What they’ve been able to show is our academic impact in Fulton County schools is greater in reading than in math so that is driving our learning impact resources," said Jones. 

While the attendance rate remains around 90 percent, just about two percent lower than a normal year, Jones said they want students to be present for the entire day. 

"What we’ve seen is a slight increase in students not being as engaged," he said. "So staying on for their asynchronous classes for the full day."

Jones said Fulton County summer school will offer virtual classes but also includes 35 in-person learning locations. Officials said 1,000 teachers have already signed on.

Atlanta Public Schools is putting $15 million towards its Summer Academic Recovery Academy. Officials there said it's open to all students and those who need it the most are highly encouraged to attend.

Gwinnett Public Schools is offering two free summer classes to students who need to attend.