New York City parents have until midnight Tuesday, July 20, to enroll their children in Summer Rising, the city’s free summer school program.
There are roughly about 200,000 children across the five boroughs enrolled in the full-day program which offers reading and writing workshops in the morning and extracurricular activities in the afternoon.
The program was launched as an attempt to help students who may have fallen behind during remote classes to catch up on lost material and close what Mayor Bill de Blasio calls the “COVID achievement gap.”
“If you need a place for your child this summer there is a place for free in your neighborhood, available, positive, safe, it’s making a huge difference and it’s going to help kids get ready for the fall,” de Blasio said during a recent press conference. “Any child that needs this can still get it and it’s 100% free.”
The program kicked off on July 6 after a rocky lead up. Some parents found the online enrollment process confusing and were disappointed in the amount of time it took the Department of Education to assign Summer Rising locations to children. The process sped up though after Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter told school principals that all students were guaranteed a Summer Rising spot at their home school or a nearby school less than a week before the programs start.
For many, the first day of Summer Rising went smoothly but in the two weeks since the programs’ launch another problem has popped up—classroom closures and quarantines. Since students returned to classrooms in early July, 95 classrooms have had to close due a positive COVID-19 cases among students and teachers, according the DOE’s Daily COVID Case Map.