BY MELINDA SKUTNICK
With students back in the classroom, Mooresville Graded School District administrators are exploring additional opportunities for in-person learning.
Planning is underway for a six-week summer program for all grade levels following the N.C. General Assembly’s approval of the Summer Learning Choice for NC Families bill. House Bill 82 was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper earlier this month with a goal of providing supplementary in-person instruction following COVID-19’s educational repercussions.
At the MGSD Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, the assistant superintendents of instruction provided preliminary information about the summer program. The districts returned students from kindergarten through 12th grade to in-person learning on April 5.
The six-week MGSD session, Summer Connection, will run from June 7 to July 15. According to Scott Smith, assistant superintendent of elementary instruction, this would meet the requirement of 30 instructional days or 150 hours with 150 hours of in-classroom time.
“The purpose of summer camp is to reach those kids who are at risk,” said Smith. “It is open to everyone, but we are targeting those kids who are at risk and they take precedence and priority.”
Added Todd Black, assistant superintendent of secondary education: “We have got to make this program exciting and interesting enough to get kids at the high school and middle school level excited to say, ‘I want to spend six weeks of my summer back at school.’ ”
MGSD officials are also recruiting teachers for the program – teachers whom Board member Deborah Marsh noted were likely ready for the seasonal break following a hectic pandemic school year.
Teachers will have the option to work this summertime, dedicating two, four or six weeks to Summer Connection.
“We’re trying to make it flexible,” Smith said. “We don’t want them to burn out. They do need a break.”
Planning for Summer Connection is underway with invitations being disseminated on Thursday – within report cards – to some of the district’s most at-risk students. More information about the program is expected at the next Board of Education meeting on May 11.
Also at the Tuesday MGSD Board of Education meeting:
♦ The Board placed its Spotlight on People on Lindsay Smith, science teacher at Mooresville High School, who recently won the Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers. This prestigious award recognizes STEM teachers and provides a five-year grant for a teacher-led project. Smith received a $175,000 grant for the study of environmental impacts in Mooresville. Across the next five years, she will use “citizen science to create meaningful experiences to connect students to nature and inspire them to be changemakers.”
♦ The Board recognized its monthly recipient for its ABCD Award, Lori Woods, an administrative assistant at MGSD student services.
♦ The Board shared praise for Superintendent Stephen Mauney during a summation of his annual review and also unanimously approving extension of his contract to four years. Said Marsh about Mauney’s activities in the last year, including throughout the pandemic, “Our superintendent has handled this with grace and has always demonstrated what I have known to be an authentic dedication to this district, to our staff and, most importantly, to our students, and no one can ever doubt that.”