Photo by kyo azuma via Unsplash

More than 30,000 San Diego Unified students enrolled in summer classes, most of them voluntarily on June 28. 

The district teamed up with The San Diego Foundation and 70 local nonprofits to teach students in the district’s first Level Up Summer Recovery Program. The program offers free in-person academic classes in the morning and extracurricular or enrichment activities in the afternoon for all K-12 students. 

After the federal government sent millions of dollars in COVID relief funds to the district, it established the summer recovery program in hopes of reconnecting students after facing the challenges of virtual learning while also preparing them for a return to normalcy in the upcoming fall

According to Level Up organizers, the pandemic both highlighted and exacerbated inequalities among students as youth centers closed and services were disrupted. 

About 25,000 students are enrolled in the academic classes, while roughly 10,000 are enrolled in the enrichment classes. Some students are enrolled in both. 

David Downey, Wilson Middle School principal, told Fox 5 San Diego that the school “is a great example of what can be done with community support, and Level Up SD is a great example of what can be done for San Diego Unified students with school district support.”

At a press conference at Wilson Middle School, Richard Barrera, San Diego Unified board president, said that the district is able to offer such programs because the community has contributed to investing in its students. According to a press release, the district is spending $31 million. 

“When San Diego struggled, we said the first thing we are going to do is focus on our kids,” Barrera said at the press conference. 

According to Barrera, the summer recovery program was first offered to roughly 20,000 low-income students who needed extra support, with a good number of them joining. Later, the program was opened up to everyone else. 

Additionally, more nonprofits will be added throughout the summer to ensure that all students are provided with enrichment activities. The San Diego Foundation awarded over $6.7 million in grants to local nonprofits to offer learning opportunities to students. 

During these summer classes, student-to-teacher ratios will be lower than in the normal year in an effort to provide individualized student support.

Scriberr News reached out to San Diego Unified Superintendent Lamont Jackson but did not hear back by press deadline.

Scriberr News reached out to San Diego Unified Chief Business Official Gregory K. Ottinger but did not hear back by press deadline.

Scriberr News reached out to the San Diego Foundation, but did not hear back by press deadline.

Written ByVivian Kwang

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