April 13, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The city is launching a summer school program that is open to all students to attend — not just those who have fallen behind academically.
The free program, offered by the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD), will combine school instruction with extracurricular activities for students in grades K through 12.
Dubbed “Summer Rising,” the $125 million program will offer students academic classes along with activities like field trips, arts programs and outdoor recreation.
“After a year of heroic work on the part of our families and schools, we are embarking on an unprecedented reimaging of what summer needs to be for our children and school communities,” Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said at a press conference alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday.
“After a such a uniquely challenging year, I’m so excited to give our students something to look forward to,” she added.
Nearly half of all school buildings will be open for the summer program. City officials expect an estimated 200,000 students to participate and said the program will continue in years to come.
“With Summer Rising we’ll be able to provide students across the city with a holistic summer experience,” Porter said. “This will include academic support, social emotional learning and exciting enrichment opportunities.”
Remote programming will also be available for interested families whose children are required to attend summer classes to advance to the next school year, as well as children who have a 12-month Individualized Education Program or IEP.
In-person programming will follow coronavirus safety protocols and include COVID-19 testing.
School staff will notify families by June if their child is required to participate in summer learning. They will be placed in the same Summer Rising programs as students who independently opt into the summer classes.
Applications for in-person K-8 Summer Rising programs will open on Monday, April 26. Interested families can sign up here.
High school students will be able to sign up soon after, though the city didn’t announce the exact date on Tuesday. They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), as well as the Public Schools Athletic League.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards praised the city’s announcement and urged Queens students to enroll in the summer program.
“It has been a tumultuous year for our City’s youth and Summer Rising is critical for our return to normal,” he said in a statement. “Our students deserve every opportunity available to thrive and learn, and I encourage Queens families to take advantage of this innovative program.”