RACINE — Many area districts begin summer school Monday, and it's expected to be a popular choice among families.
While students enjoy their summer break, some are opting in for summer school for various reasons including being able to receive in-person instruction.
Racine Unified School District is one of eight area districts welcoming students back.
Paul Tadder enrolled his two daughters in summer school for the first time this year to ensure they don't fall behind and get that face-to-face instruction.
"We feel it's better to have them continue their education that they may have lost," Tadder said.
He said while his children did not struggle too much in a virtual setting they still prefer being in the classroom. His daughter Bella said she's excited to be back because online school was difficult for her.
Much like the Tadder family, Allison Jarrett is excited for her second grader to be in person after a tough virtual learning experience.
"Having to be on her to be attentive in class was difficult and not getting that extra help when it came to her not understanding the curriculum was tough too," Jarrett said.
She said the summer school program was a no-brainer because it gives her daughter the chance to catch up or get ahead.
"I want to make sure that she keeps up with her Spanish learning, education and doesn't lose anything," Jarrett said.
Racine Unified School District Director of Curriculum and Instruction Janelle Decker said the district did see an increase in failure rate when students went virtual.
That in turn, caused some parents to seek continued education. A demand that prompted the district to look for more teachers.
"We did have to hire some more teachers at the last minute because we did get a last-minute push in enrollment," Decker stated.
But, even with that push 1,624 K-8 students enrolled for summer school this year. In comparison to 1,795 in 2019 and 1,160 in 2020.
Transportation needs are also being met aftertwo parents alleged the district was discriminatingagainst poor families and students of color by closing two majority Black and Hispanic schools and not providing bus services.
"We normally don't provide transportation for summer school it is completely optional, but we did listen to the families," Decker said.
The district is providing summer school shuttles from 13 sites.
Decker hopes families know that the district is on their side and that this is a step in the right direction to reengage kids and families.
Enrollment is open through the end of this week for the Racine Unified School District.
Along with the Racine School District, Fox Point Bayside, Sussex Hamilton, Mequon Thiensville, New Berlin, Whitefish Bay, and Oconomowoc districts will begin classes today.
Classes at South Division and Washington sites are already underway for the Milwaukee Public School District. Twelve other sites are set to open Tuesday.