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APS planning for summer learning

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

As the school year wraps up, Albuquerque Public Schools is working on what summer learning will look like during the COVID-19 pandemic, canceling a program that drew nearly 800 students last year and shifting other efforts to a virtual presence.

“APS planned for summer programs to contain a face-to-face instructional model, but with the uncertainty of a return to school, the APS Summer (Continuous Learning Plan) includes a virtual learning component,” district officials wrote in a draft planning document.

An extended school year for special education students, high school credit recovery and Central New Mexico Community College dual credit programs will be available solely online this summer, according to associate superintendent Madelyn Serna Mármol.

When schools were shut down and districts had to teach from a distance, APS distributed Chromebooks to families who needed devices, which students can use for summer learning.

Other programs will likely be adjusted due to the coronavirus, too.

APS is still aiming to offer K-5 Plus – a state-funded program that extends the school year for kindergarten through fifth grade by 25 days before school starts – through a virtual model. Serna Mármol said the district submitted a digital program proposal to the state Public Education Department, and is still waiting for program and funding approval.

The PED is expected to release guidance on summer learning programs in the coming days.

Meanwhile, APS’ Summer Learning Adventure, a free elementary program, was nixed because it wasn’t doable with social distancing and the state’s public health order.

“Summer Learning Adventures is a project-based, hands-on program involving group work and field trips. In the best interests and safety of our students, all 2020 Summer Learning Adventure Programs have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis,” Serna Mármol said.

In 2019, the Summer Learning Adventure employed 121 staff members and 797 students participated.

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