April 6, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer
The Hingham Public Schools will offer "Summer Acceleration Academies" starting in mid-August for hundreds of elementary and secondary students to help them address COVID 19-related learning and social-emotional issues and to prepare them for the new school year, with admission by invitation only.
Asst. Supt. of Schools Jamie LaBillois presented an overview of the program to the School Committee last night. "We're in the initial planning stages," he said. The academies will be funded with a Hingham Education Foundation grant and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding.
The program is in line with the three major areas of concentration that have been established to guide the district’s planning for the 2021-2022 academic year:
* a complete focus on academic engagement
* building a sense of belonging and togetherness
* fostering and developing personal wellness (among students, faculty, and staff).
The goal of the program is to help as many of the students as possible who have been the most negatively impacted by COVID-19 challenges, including limited in-person learning until recently and minimal interaction with teachers and fellow students.
The elementary academy will focus on math and reading and the secondary academy on social-emotional learning and "executive functioning skills," the development of which helps students focus, follow directions, and organize their time, among other benefits.
Data tracking during this summer program will help identify students who will need additional intervention when the new school year starts to help ensure their success.
"These academies will help students hit the ground running" when the new school year begins in the fall, School Committee Chair Kerry Ni said.
The dates and times for both groups are Aug. 16-19 and Aug. 23-26, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Students who are recommended for either program will receive invitations starting May 1. "Those needing the most acceleration will be invited first," LaBillois said. "As some families may have plans during that time or choose for their students not to attend, we will continue up the list until all the seats are filled." There are 240 secondary and 320 elementary slots available.
The different groups of students will meet at various school locations. Transportation will be provided if needed.
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education summer programming health and safety protocols that are in place at that time will be followed.
Further information will be available at a later date.