Around F.C.

F.C. Schools’ Summer Fare Reduced from 4 to 3 Weeks

Falls Church City Public School’s plans for this summer were spelled out in detail at last week’s F.C. School Board meeting, and it was announced that this year’s summer programming will run for three weeks instead of four.

Director of Equity and Excellence Jennifer Santiago and Director of Curriculum and Instruction Julie Macrina led the presentation last week on how summer school programming will look for Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS), as well as how this programming will support students in each school. These schools include Jessie Thackrey Preschool, Mount Daniel and Oak Street Elementary Schools, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and Meridian High School. 

The overall purpose of this year’s programming, Santiago said, is to provide space and time for students who need intervention in preparation for their next year of learning and to fulfill student needs based on decisions of the Individual Education Program (IEP) committee. In addition, high school students will be offered remediation and “extension credit options.”  

This year’s summer school programming will run for three weeks instead of four, like in previous years. Santiago said the shortening of the program was due to this year’s summer being shorter and to ensure a break for both teachers and students. The program will run Monday through Friday from July 10 to 28 at each school location. 

Administrators at each summer school location were introduced at the meeting; they included Katy Reardon at Jessie Thackery, Jed Jackson at Mount Daniel, Michelle Goldberg at Oak Street, Andrea Chew at Mary Ellen Henderson and Laura Schomer at Meridian. 

At Jessie Thackrey Preschool, the summer school programming will run from 8:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. and will focus on “students with IEPs” who indicate a need for Extended School Year (ESY) services, along with Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) students. Reardon said their instructional program will focus on “literacy, numeracy, communication and social development” for their “youngest learners [ages three and four].” 

Students at Thackrey’s program will also have access to additional speech, occupational and physical therapy, counseling and other related services for special education students. Reardon said 28 invitations for the program have been sent, with 24 students confirmed to attend so far. 

Mount Daniel will hold its summer school program from 9:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. and target “students needing intervention” as rising kindergarteners, first and second graders. Jackson said “approximately 65 students” will be attending the program that will focus on language arts and math instruction that will use “evidence-based programs” designed to strengthen foundational skills and “close instructional gaps.” 

Jackson went on to say that although there will be a focus on the academic needs of students, social emotional needs will also be concentrated on with weekly “social emotional” (SEL) lessons. She also added that it is also hoped that the program will “provide a smooth transition” for rising kindergarten students. 

Oak Street Elementary’s summer school program will be held for students who “qualify” for intervention in the areas of Math and English Language Arts (ELA). From 9:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m., 36 confirmed students out of 68 invited will participate in daily morning meetings, math instruction, ELA instruction, social emotional learning instruction and lunch/outdoor recess. 

Goldberg, Oak Street Elementary’s guidance counselor during the academic year and summer school advisor, said ELA, mathematics and SEL lessons will focus on various topics, such as reading comprehension, collaboration, team building and “key standards” students will need “in order to approach the next grade level with success.” 

CAREERS (Creative and Real-World Engaging Experiences Realized this Summer) and (Rising) 6th Grade Jumpstart will be the theme of this year’s Mary Ellen Henderson’s summer school program, with students focusing on grade-level math/reading standards and how to infuse them into “real-world, problem-based activities.” From 8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. at Meridian High School, this program will also offer history and science “infused” content  to support “core academic areas.” 

On August 9 from 9:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m., Henderson Middle School will also provide the “Husky JumpStart” program, which Chew said will target “academic needs, organizational lessons and communication skills” to support the transition from Oak Street to Henderson. They will give special attention to “team bonding, tours of the campus and lockers.”

Meridian High School’s summer advisor, Laura Schomer, said its summer program is “unique” due to it being virtual and the students working asynchronously. From 8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m., students have the option of taking a new credit, credit recovery or enrichment (i.e. auditing a course) course. In-person support is also available in Meridian’s library if needed. 

Courses offered for Meridian’s summer program include English, math, science, social studies, interdisciplinary (personal finance and economics) and health and physical education for both new credit or credit recovery options. 

To support each school’s program, Santiago said transportation routes will be set up and ready for those accessing buses, breakfast and lunch will be provided to all students, custodial support for “deep cleanings” will be provided and health clinics will be staffed with School Health Aides and a public health nurse will be available at all times.

“We are very much looking forward to a good, successful summer supporting students transitioning into new buildings and being ready to start the new year on the right foot,” Santiago said.