'Summer Rising': NYC offers free k-12 summer school program

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City announced Tuesday it will offer a new program called "Summer Rising," an open invitation to free summer school for any student grades K through 12 who wants to participate.

It will be open to both students assigned to summer school for remedial work and those just looking for fun activities.

"This ends summer school as we knew it," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The program combines the traditional remedial summer classes run by the city's Department of Education with free summer camps run by the city's Department of Youth and Community Development.

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The all-in-one academic and recreational program will include academics, culture, and recreation, and it will not affect the Summer Youth Employment Program for teens.

"Our kids have been through so much, and they need our support as we build a recovery for all of us," de Blasio said. "This is a free program for all New York City students, combining academics and cultural enrichment for the best summer yet."

De Blasio made the announcement with Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter and Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.

"Summer Rising will be a holistic experience that combines the power of strong academic supports, social emotional learning and enrichment programming," Porter said. "Through this innovative partnership with DYCD and our trusted community partners, and thanks to our heroic principals, teachers and staff, we'll be able to serve any New York City student who wants to attend in-person so they can receive the comprehensive supports they need during this critical time."
Applications for in-person K-8 programs will open on Monday, April 26, and families can sign up through the discover DYCD website.

Kindergarten and elementary school students will participate in a five-day a week program for seven weeks, providing critical childcare services for families as they return to the workplace.

Students with 12-month IEPs will participate in a five-day a week program for six weeks, middle school students will participate in a four-day a week program for six weeks, and high school students will participate in a five week program with tailored scheduling to meet their needs.

In addition, high school students will have the opportunity to engage in the Summer Youth Employment Program and participate in the Public Schools Athletic League.

Schools will begin outreach to families of high school students in the coming weeks to confirm participation, and students attending for promotion purposes will be in the same program as students participating for enrichment.

"Summer Rising is truly the best of both worlds: bringing together for the first time the strengths of DYCD-funded summer enrichment initiatives and DOE's academic programs into a singular experience for young people, particularly those from communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic," Chong said. "DYCD and our network of community providers are excited to join DOE in keeping classrooms open this summer for safe learning, childcare, connection, and fun," said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.

Summer locations will be available in every borough, with nearly half of all DOE school buildings serving students citywide. All programs will follow rigorous health and safety protocols and have access to testing, nursing support and a telehealth call center. In addition, Situation Room policies and protocols will be followed.

All K-8 students participating in programs will have access to academic classes, enrichment programming including field trips, arts activities and outdoor recreation, and will engage in daily social emotional learning activities.

All programs will be free, in-person, and run in four time frames:
--Students in grades K-5 will participate in summer programming from July 6 to August 20. Students will engage five days a week, receiving academic support, engaging in social emotional learning activities, and participating in enrichment programming.
--Students with 12-month IEP services will participate in summer programming from July 2 to August 13, five days a week. They will receive instruction and related services based on their IEPs, as well as enrichment programming.
--Students in grades 6-8 will participate in summer programming from July 6 to August 12. Students will engage four days a week, receiving academic support, engaging in social emotional learning activities, and participating in enrichment programming.
--Students in grades 9-12 who have a Course in Progress, or who need to retake a course they failed in a prior term, will participate in academic instruction from July 6 to August 13. High school students will also have the opportunity to accelerate learning, and access social emotional supports and arts programming. Similar to prior years, high school students will continue to have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

There will be remote programming available for interested families whose children are mandated for summer learning or have a 12-month IEP. Program offerings for high school students will depend on school community need and may include a mix of in-person and remote options.

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