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LAUSD expands search to find enough summer school teachers

Yana Gracile | July 3, 2014

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LAUSD summer school teachers

As LAUSD kicked off its newly expanded summer school program last month, accommodating more students than ever before, one thing became clear:

Sometimes, more money means more problems.

And one problem district officials didn’t anticipate was finding enough teachers who wanted to work in the summer.

Without a sufficient number, the district scrambled to fill classes with adult education and substitute teachers who found themselves with new summer jobs.

“We had to do the best we could to staff the schools,” Javier Sandoval, an administrator for Beyond the Bell, told LA School Report.

Sandoval said they were able to recruit enough teachers to fully staff classes during the five-week expanded summer school program.

For the first time this summer, Beyond the Bell is offering summer school to 36,000 students, a dramatic increase from last year’s capacity of only 6,000. (Click here for a comprehensive list of summer school programs.)

“Summer school is a safety net that we provide for our students and now that we’ve been able to expand it, more students are being helped and supported,” Sandoval said.

While last year’s program was only available at 16 high school sites and students were only able to take one credit recovery class, this year 75 high schools are offering summer school in which students can take two courses to fulfill graduation requirements.

The program is designed to help children meet grade level standards in mathematics or English language arts.

“There is definitely a need and students respond,” Sandoval said.

“It’s pretty amazing when you think these kids mostly failed classes that they’re taking over in summer and I think they realize that this is their last chance and they’re engaged, they’re focused, they’re paying attention, they’re taking notes, they’re participating in class,” he added.

Elementary and middle school students at 38 middle and 112 elementary schools have access to classes for four weeks over the break, in a program called Extended Learning Opportunity Summer Programs (for more info, click here), funded largely by federal dollars from the district’s Core Waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements.

Additional funding comes from the Common Core State Standards budget and Title 1 dollars from the current school year, which the district was able to use by squeezing in the summer school session before the end of July.

The middle and elementary summer school ends July 11, while the high school summer school ends a week later, on July 18.

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