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Mesa Public Schools provide summer programs and early enrollment to bridge 2020 learning gap

Mesa Public Schools said pre-school enrollment is open now, and it's best to sign up early so everyone can plan and staff accordingly.

MESA, Ariz. — It's been a complicated time for families with children in school. Parents are facing decisions on how to support their children through learning loss and some are trying to navigate getting their students started in school for the very first time. 

So districts like Mesa Public Schools said they're working to get ahead of any learning loss that may have happened.

Mesa Public Schools plans to provide summer enrichment courses

Tracy Yslas, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning at MPS, said they're putting together plans for summer school opportunities. Courses will focus primarily on academics, social and creative activities.

“We’ve been in person for the majority of the time with an option for families to be remote, and we’ve got those opportunities this summer as well," Yslas said. 

Yslas said parents can look for summer learning opportunities from the district, their local schools and in Mesa if they live outside of the district boundaries. 

“We’ll have some opportunities for those who are outside of Mesa Public Schools to join some of our online programming through our Mesa Distancing Learning Program," Yslas said. 

School districts can allocate COVID-relief funding to learning programs 

Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman said districts can use their allocated COVID-19 relief dollars from the state to pay for these summer enrichment programs. 

And equally as important in making sure kids are on track, is early childhood development. 

“We know we need kids in school and that’s the best place for their learning," Yslas said. "Especially when they’re little and they’ve got all of those social emotional and academic needs that we’re preparing them for."

Mesa has opened pre-school enrollment after a dip in numbers from 2020

Yslas said they've seen a decline in pre-school enrollment this year but believes they'll make a rebound. 

The district is attributing the drop to things like families being uncomfortable sending their children to school because of COVID-19, programming changes and some not wanting their children to wear masks all day in class. 

"We are hoping as numbers improve and folks are a little bit more comfortable and vaccinations are out there, that we’ll be able to bring some of those families back," Yslas said.

Yslas said pre-school enrollment is open now and it's best to sign up early, so everyone can plan and staff accordingly.

The district said it expects to release the summer schools plans after Spring Break. You can also check with your local districts to see what might be available there. Mesa Public Schools Early Childhood Education information is online too.

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