JEFCOED leaders say SOAR program ensures learning will continue during the summer
HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WBRC) - Summer school is in session for Jefferson County students.
Thousands of students are enrolled in the district’s Strengthening Our Academic Rigor, or SOAR program, which started Monday morning.
JEFCOED students have only been on summer break for a week, but many were back at it again Monday.
Superintendent, Dr. Walter Gonsoulin, said this program is designed to ensure learning continues over the summer.
He said the program will not only help students get back on track but will also accelerate learning.
Building critical thinking, strengthening reading and math skills, increasing academic vocabulary.
Those are just some of the goals of JEFCOED’s SOAR Program.
“It’s going to be 16 days of working to…you know…provide that academic rigor for our children,” said Dr. Gonsoulin.
More than 5,500 students, and more than 450 teachers at 32 sites started the summer program Monday.
It ends July 1st.
But with many students struggling with learning gaps caused by the pandemic, some are wondering if 16 days is enough time to get them back on track.
“Anything that we can provide for our children that is targeted and intentional, then yes, it does work into the bigger plan,” Dr. Gonsoulin said.
“We’re always focusing on literacy and mathematics. As a matter of fact, one portion of our program is the Alabama literacy program for our children to meet those particular requirements,” he explained.
The soar program is for kindergarten through 12th grade students, but Dr. Gonsoulin said the program is different this year because it goes beyond promoting students who were being retained.
“We also have credit recovery if kids had failed just a particular subject. At the secondary level, they can take classes here now, as well. But in addition, we’re doing an acceleration part of it. And so, that’s where we go with the critical standards for next year…those things that we feel are very important for the upcoming school year,” Dr. Gonsoulin said.
Outside of the SOAR Program, Dr. Gonsoulin said the district has provided readiness kits for about 7,000 students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
The district will also be offering learning camps in July, as well as other reading initiatives.
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