COLORADO SPRINGS — As educators look at how to reopen schools in the fall, districts in southern Colorado are facing another challenge with how to conduct summer school programs.
At District 11, enrollment was especially high. One teacher says they really had to prioritize so that their seniors could take the classes they needed to graduate.
"All but two students enrolled were graduating seniors who needed one or two credits to graduate," said Richard Bragg, lead teacher at District 11's Digital School.
Bragg says usually the district has two summer school sessions. One put on by the digital school, and the other put on by Tesla. This year Tesla relocated and could not offer the same program, so it all fell on the digital school. This year, there are 140 students enrolled in summer school compared to 80 last year.
Bragg says running the program virtually was a challenge for teachers. Communicating with students during the summer months is hard because families are traveling and enjoying the summer break, making it harder for teachers to reach their students.
"I've had students where we started off with a text message conversation and they are asking very specific questions about a math or science problem, and trying to get into that in-depth through a text or email is very difficult," Bragg said.
There's also the issue of those students who don't have access to computers. In some households there's only one computer. If mom and dad are working from home too, that can be a problem.
Bragg says they've been able to provide students with tablets who have that issue.