GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Gulfport School District employees safely greeted students as they arrived back on campus for both summer camp and summer school. This is the first year GPSD is offering a program called “Summer Academy," which is a free summer camp for kindergarteners through eighth-graders.
Robin Auringer is the assistant principal at 28th Street Elementary and has volunteered to coordinate the summer camp. With coronavirus concerns in mind, welcoming students back in a safe manner meant all teachers, students and staff were required to wear a mask when social distancing is not practiced.
"We have our nurses screening each morning. We have bus drivers helping with that process in the morning for our bus riders. Nurses screen our car riders who come in and, of course, we also screen our all staff who are working the summer academy,” said Auringer.
Students have the opportunity to focus on academics with in-person teacher interactions, and classes are half the size they would normally be— with only ten students per room. “There are focus standards for ELA and math each week, and the teachers work on those with the kids in the morning time. From 8 [a.m.] to 11:45 [a.m.], teachers are able to use their creativity like I mentioned earlier, to focus on academics, do hands-on lessons, get them outside moving around,” said Auringer.
Several halls over, high school students are on campus for summer school— to ensure everyone is on the right track for the upcoming school year.
Dr. Oswago Harper is the new head principal at Gulfport High and wants to make sure no one is left behind. “First of all, we want to use this as a remediation tool, any deficiencies, and learning we of course want to close any of those gaps,” said Dr. Harper.
Students have the chance to make up credits for any subject they may have fallen short in during the school year through Edgenuity, a credit recovery system the school offers.