MILWAUKEE — After a year of virtual school during a global pandemic and with many parents concerned about learning loss, MPS has about 7,800 students enrolled in summer school this year. Many of those students started class Tuesday.
"That is a lot! That's the highest in the last five years," said MPS Extended Learning Opportunities Manager Natalie Anderson.
Although summer is not something kids typically get too excited about, that wasn't the case on Tuesday morning at Bethune Academy.
Ja'maree Brown is going into first grade and could hardly contain his excitement as he danced his way to the first day of school.
"I want to go to summer school!" Ja'maree exclaimed.
His mom, Maureen Brown, is also pretty excited to see him back in the classroom.
"It feels really good to bring him here in person because my son enjoys interacting with other kids, meeting new kids," Brown said.
She said she was also concerned about learning loss during the pandemic and is hoping summer school will help her son excel in the fall.
"They didn't get that full interaction with the teachers, like that one-on-one. Going to summer school will help them most definitely improve their learning for next year," Brown said.
Teachers like Brandy Meux are stepping up and giving up part of their own summers to make sure kids are where they need to be. Meux teaches 4th grade and has been in the district for 18 years, but this is her first year teaching summer school.
"There was going to be a surge in summer school and so I just wanted to get in the classroom and just get them prepared," Meux said. "I think the kids are excited to be back at school, so I also wanted to be there and get them ready for the next grade.
Classes last six weeks for those in grades K-5 through 8th. Each week will cover a different topic from STEM, to art, and different languages.