Poudre School District shares summer plans, free courses for high schoolers

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With snow still on the ground, Poudre School District officials are hard at work figuring out what summer school offerings will look like across grade levels, but it seems most will be in person. 

Scott Nielsen, assistant superintendent for secondary schools, and Traci Gile, interim assistant superintendent for elementary schools, detailed plans for the district’s offerings at a school board meeting Tuesday. 

The biggest change for high school offerings, Nielsen said, is that the district is working to make all summer courses free for all students. Last year, courses were made free for students who qualified for free lunch.

Nielsen said the district is moving forward with the free model “as a way to help students that are behind in credits and to take away any barriers that we think might be there.” He added that 19% of PSD seniors are behind on credits and not on track to graduate. 

Courses will be offered both in-person and online and registration will open March 8, Nielsen said. All classes will be streamlined rather than offered at individual schools to ensure that they are free and to allow for supervision over offerings.

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Middle schools will be offering more camp-like summer offerings, such as STEM programs and partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Larimer County, and a more 1-on-1, tutor-type program to assist students with greater needs. Many of the middle school summer programs will likely be in person. 

Elementary schools will offer four types of summer programming, the most notable being an expansion of the district’s Camp SOL program. It will now have a capacity of 800 students, double the previous year’s, according to Gile. It will also offer transportation services and food services for students.

Other options at the elementary level are a more 1-on-1 tutoring program offered to about 300 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and a program still in development that will help transition at-risk students who need assistance transitioning toward primary grades. This will be available for students going into kindergarten or first grade.

The district said many of these offerings will be in-person as well and will have health protocols in place. 

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Molly Bohannon covers education for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @molboha or contact her at mbohannon@coloradoan.com. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.