By Matt de Simone
This summer, Botetourt County Public Schools (BCPS) offers a “Summer Academy” for students in grades K-8. The program’s design “catches up” students who may need remediation heading into the 2021-22 school year. BCPS expands its summer curriculum to meet the needs of students who seek additional learning following one of the most challenging school years in county history due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The program’s curriculum primarily focuses on math and reading support. There will be a morning session of learning, a break for lunch, and an afternoon session. BCPS will provide students with a free lunch and a snack.
“This is the first year we’re calling it a ‘Summer Academy’ because it is a longer school day than normal,” Michael Tetreault, one of the county’s Supervisors of Instruction, said in a recent phone interview. “Summer school traditionally has been a half-day of services. We’ve increased that amount for this particular summer due to the pandemic.”
BCPS will also provide transportation support for students. All seven elementary and middle schools will offer the Summer Academy to support the community better.
“If a family wants to provide transportation to the school on their own, that’s great,” Tetreault added. “If they can’t because work arrangements don’t allow them to do so, then, absolutely, we are going to have the transportation provided.”
Summer school in high school will provide two sessions for students this summer. Session one takes place from June 3 to 17. Session two takes place from June 17 to July 1. June 17 will act as a “transition day” that will tie things up for students in one class while preparing to start a new one.
“We’re super-excited about summer school this year and thankful we can offer such a wide range of courses for our high school students this year,” said Debbi Nemec, another supervisor with the county’s instructional department.
BCPS Superintendent Dr. John Russ is excited and proud of the amount of BCPS teachers and staff willing to help with the Summer Academy and with the high schools’ summer school programs.
“I feel like the response has been phenomenal,” Dr. Russ stated. “I want to give our teachers and administrators credit for that. They used criteria to determine which kids they wanted to invite to the Summer Academy. Once they had that criteria set and had those kids identified, they did a great job of promoting the program.”
For more information about BCPS Summer Academy and the high school summer programs, visit dci.bcps.org/department/educational_options/summer_programs.