ROCKLAND — Superintendent Alan Cron is pleased to announce that the Rockland Public Schools was recently named one of 60 school districts in the state to receive funds from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support summer programming for students in grades K-8.
Rockland will receive a total of $100,000 through DESE’s High Quality Summer Learning grant program, which focuses on developing and expanding high quality, comprehensive summer learning opportunities and partnerships in districts to address both the academic and social-emotional impacts of COVID-19 on students.
Schools receiving money through the program must conform to several priorities stipulated by DESE, including increasing the number of students participating in programs or increasing the total number of programs being offered to students.
Other priorities include offering at least 150 hours of evidence/research-based programming focused on academic and social-emotional learning opportunities; offering engaging and interactive programming, including enrichment and recreation activities, that will excite and motivate students to attend, build relationships and promote youth voice; creating a culturally responsive, anti-racist and welcoming environment that leverages the knowledges, strengths, and assets of students, families, educators and the community; and partnering with community-based organizations for cost and resource-sharing to address needs of district and families, including but not limited to expanded hours to support care, transportation and intentional/authentic family engagement activities.
The Rockland Public Schools has already begun work to plan programs in connection with this grant, with an emphasis on supporting students in math and reading, in social-emotional health, and with learning English. Middle school programs will run independently, but the elementary program will be embedded into the district’s existing elementary summer enrichment program.
The programs will begin in the coming weeks as part of the 2022 summer programming.
“We are extremely grateful to DESE for this significant grant, which will allow us to continue to enrich the education and growth of our students over the summer,” Superintendent Cron said. “Data has shown that students require a level of mental stimulation over the summer months, and this grant will allow us to do just that. It will also allow us to build upon many of the ideals and principles we impart on our students, including giving them an independent voice and ensuring their social-emotional needs are met as equally as their educational needs.”
For more information on DESE’s High Quality Summer Learning grant program, click here.