December 4, 2021
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For most students, once graduation and other end-of-year activities are completed, they are finished with school until August.

However, when the school year ends, the learning continues, and for some students it continues in the classrooms of MISD.

MISD holds school every summer, except for 2020 when the school was shut down due to COVID-19 concerns. This year, schools were open for learning from June 1-18.

“We are working on ‘learning loss from COVID19,’ reading, math, high school credit recovery and re-testing on the STAAR test,” said Superintendent R.L. Richardson.

At Dillman and DeShazo Elementary, students attended summer school from 7:55 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. each day. About 66 students attended at Dillman, with 70 students attending at DeShazo. High school students were are assigned a time to attend, from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. or 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

“Some students stay the entire time, depending on what they need to complete during these days,” said Principal Cindy Bessire.

The small size of summer classes can be an advantage for both teachers and learners.

“Teachers use whole group instruction, small group instruction and/or individual instruction depending on the lesson and needs of the students,” said DeShazo Principal Letti Tovar. 

De Shazo Principal Jennifer Burrus agrees, saying, “Class sizes are small, so while students do move throughout the day as a cohort, there are many opportunities for teachers to work one-on-one with students to address learning loss due to COVID-19.”

One purpose of summer school is to keep students who need to make up work due to excessive absences or other reasons so they can stay on track for promotion or graduation.

“Some students are working on credit recovery for one or more classes, or they are receiving tutorials for the End of Course STAAR Test,” Bessire said. “Students are assigned to groups during these times. Credit recovery is completed individually on a program called Edgenuity.  EOC Tutorials are completed in groups of three to eight students. Credit recovery is being used to assist the students staying on track for graduation with earning the appropriate credits at the appropriate time. ”

Most students look forward to summer as a time of freedom to play, travel and interact with friends and relatives. MISD teachers strive to encourage a positive attitude for those who attend summer school.

“Our students have done a wonderful job of arriving to school on time, ready to learn,” Burrus said. “Our teachers have implemented lots of engaging educational activities so that students are learning, while also enjoying their time at school. We also continue to have recess, as well as time utilizing learning platforms with educational games integrated into the system.”

At the high school level, teachers working with the students plan activities where students can move and discuss rather than taking lecture notes. At all levels, teachers implement computer learning to keep students interested.

“Teachers incorporate hands-on learning with engaging activities along with programs with the latest technology,” Tovar said.

“Students have the opportunity to utilize different computer learning platforms to complement their summer school experience,” Burrus said. “We also continue to have recess, as well as time utilizing learning platforms with educational games integrated into the system.”

During summer school, the buses keep running, and the kids are fed. Elementary school students may either ride the school bus on reduced routes or travel with their parents, depending on what the parents selected. They are provided with breakfast, lunch and a snack. At the high school level, transportation is provided if students reside in the MISD School District. Breakfast and lunch is provided for all students.

Summer school continues through June 30 for Pre-K and Kinder English Language Learners. This is invitational and not required.

GAIL M. WILLIAMS

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

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