Summer school enrollment increases

ELKHART, Ind.-- For many in Indiana, summer school is just getting started, and over in Michigan, it’s only a few more weeks away. Summer school this year, is still seeing an outstanding increase in student enrollment in comparison to previous years all because of the pandemic. 

“With COVID and everybody being so kind of clustered for over a year, parents are like ‘get my kids out of here’ you know, get them out of the house, get them learning, get them excited, on field trips again and let’s try to stem some of that summer learning loss or some of the loss of learning that happened throughout the school year,” Executive Director of the Elkhart Education Foundation Ashley Molyneaux said. 

For Mishawaka schools last year, which held virtual summer classes, 678 students were enrolled. In 2019, it was 832 students and in 2018, 977. This year in 2021 though, 1,150 students will be attending, the highest yet in the last 3 years! 

South Bend Community Schools tell ABC57 news they expect to serve at least 3,300 students in this year's summer school, up from roughly 2,000 in the summer of 2019. Last year in 2020, a number of their summer programs didn’t run at all or were fully virtual. 

Elkhart Community Schools, seeing the same exact trend! 

“In our very first year 5 years ago, we had less than 100 students participate, and each year we have had a steady growth, although last year we had about 300 students so it will grow from 300 to 460 in a single year. That’s a pretty hefty, big increase,” Molyneaux said. 

Summer school teachers on Tuesday, getting a head-start on the curriculum for their incoming students in a few weeks, preparing for a summer year much different-looking than before. 

“We have about 30 different enrichment partners that come in and do workshops and different cool activities with the students. We also are going on lots of field trips this summer,” Molyneaux said.  

And educators' main goal-- 

“We just want this to be a safe, fun, exciting experience for our kids. We want parents to feel like whew, okay my kids are not only learning but they are safe and having fun.” 

Summer school at Elkhart Community Schools kick off on June 14th! For more information, you can head to their website. 

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