Pine Ridge Elementary School District hosts summer school for first time

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Summer school is in session for more districts this year than ever before. That includes one Fresno County district that was hit hard by the pandemic and last year's Creek Fire.

After a year of distance learning, the state provided extra funding for districts specifically for this. To make summer school available to the students who need it. At Pine Ridge Elementary in Auberry, dozens of kids are taking part in the program for the first time ever.

There was a lot of mixing, manners and masks in the Pine Ridge Elementary cafeteria this morning, but it wasn't for lunch time.

"They're learning about measuring, ratio and proportions by making rice crispy treats," said Superintendent Steve Rosa. "What pleases me the most about summer school is the feedback I've gotten from families saying their kids are having fun."

But it's not all fun and games for these students.

"They spend the mornings working on interventions specific to their skill set, where they need the support. Then the second part of the day, they spend learning and having fun," explained Rosa.

Roughly 45 students are taking part in the district's first summer school session.

"Summer school wasn't provided here before," said Rosa. "We just didn't have a need, didn't have the funds for it, but we went through COVID, we went through the Creek Fire, so there is some learning loss and we want to be able to work on that."

After a year of distance learning, they're one of many districts across the county using grant money from the state to make it happen. Teacher and parent Brooke Matthews has seen the struggle from both sides.

"It was definitely needed this year," said Matthews. "We're really focusing on the intervention to try and get the kids caught up a bit."

Transportation and lunch are also provided.

"Distance learning, everyone did their best," added Matthews. "As a parent, I definitely see the benefit. My son is exceling in reading and math, and he's practicing those skills every day because we're here at summer school."

The four-week summer session runs through July 15th.
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