Politics · June 7, 2021

California: Summer Programming & School Reopening Data

California Releases New Summer Programming and School Reopening Data, Launches Parental Engagement Campaign

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) California launched a new series of interactive data visualizations at the Safe Schools for All Hub to continue tracking the progress of school reopening efforts while highlighting school districts’ plans for summer program offerings to support students’ learning needs.  Of the data submitted:

  • 89 percent of school districts submitting data will offer learning opportunities over the summer, including learning acceleration (e.g., high-dose tutoring), enrichment and mental health services.
  • 99 percent of public school districts submitting data plan to fully reopen for in-person instruction for the school year beginning Fall 2021.

“A restorative summer filled with reconnection, enrichment and joy, followed by a return to full in-person instruction, is what’s best for our students,” said Governor Newsom.  “We still have a long way to go in our recovery but providing our students with more support and opportunities is exactly how we bring California roaring back.”

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is launching a new campaign throughout the summer to build confidence with parents and students about the safety of returning to school full-time in Fall 2021.  The campaign will reach out to parents in areas hardest hit by the pandemic – especially Latinx, African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander parents of school-aged children – with $25 million from AB 86 to support the safe opening of schools during the next fiscal year.  These monies will: fund a campaign to reach parents ($1 million), build on-the-ground local collaborations between local public health departments ($10 million) and county offices of education ($10 million) and provide ongoing statewide technical assistance and encourage two-way communication through enhanced technology ($4 million).

The summer learning opportunities will be supported by $4.6 billion made available in early March by Governor Newsom and the Legislature.  Public schools developed community plans to spend those funds, which they were required to adopt at a public meeting by June 1, 2021.  Leading up to adoption of those plans, the administration encouraged schools to focus on the social-emotional well-being of students and to collaborate with community-based organizations to ensure fatigued school staff have an opportunity to recharge before the next school year.  The Summer Technical Assistance Hub provides direct support to school leaders who need assistance with planning and implementation.

The Governor’s California Comeback Plan proposes to permanently expand summer and after-school programs at all schools serving the highest concentrations of vulnerable students, beginning with $1 billion in the 2021-22 school year and growing to $5 billion by 2025.  The Plan also proposes a return to full-time in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year.