Joe Murphy

Livingston Parish schools will offer extra, largely virtual summer school instruction this summer in math and English for children in elementary and middle schools.

Superintendent Joe Murphy said the new summer enrichment program will be held May 26 through June 17. Murphy said it’s the first time Livingston has offered such a summer program. It will last 17 days with about 90 minutes of instruction each day.

The summer initiative is an effort to head off the learning loss that educators fear has occurred since Louisiana school buildings were closed March 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak, forcing schools to shift to some kind of distance learning.

To pay for the summer program, Livingston is drawing on $150,000 of the $4.4 million it received in federal coronavirus relief money.

This program, open to current kindergarteners to eighth-graders, is serving as a pilot for the “continuous remote learning” that Livingston may have to rely on next school year thanks to the coronavirus, Murphy said. The summer program is aimed at students who passed their classes this past school year, but “need more assistance in foundational skills needed to be successful in the next grade,” he said.

“These students would greatly benefit from receiving advanced instruction in the courses they are scheduled to take in the fall,” Murphy said.

The enrichment program will be separate from the usual summer school, which will continue this year and will focus on remediation and credit recovery for students who have failed certain classes in grades K-11. That as well will be done via remote instruction, he said.

“The programs we traditionally offer are about ‘going back’ to offer instruction in those courses that were not successfully completed in the previous school year. This new enrichment program is about ‘going forward’ to offer foundational instruction in those subject areas that will be taken in the new school year,” Murphy said.

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