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CCSD offering virtual and real-time Summer-Mester program

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is offering a virtual Summer-Mester program through July 31, 2020. Students will receive meaningful small group reading and writing instruction provided by a highly qualified teacher of reading. Students enrolled in the virtual program will receive 40 minutes of direct small group instruction in either literacy or math each day.

The student to teacher ratio is 5:1 maximum. In addition to their live instructional time, students will have access to 90+ minutes of recorded content each day. The recorded content includes daily Open Court phonics or word analysis lessons (depending on grade level), read aloud lessons, daily Social Emotional Learning lessons, and more. MiFi hotspots are being distributed to students without internet access and devices were given to all children. Students that were slated to attend the face to face sites were transitioned to the virtual classrooms due to the current increase in COVID 19 cases in the Charleston area.

“We continue to put the safety of students and staff first in all of our decision making,” said Jessica Richards, Summer-Mester Program Manager. “The aim of the virtual program was to provide the same quality of instruction that we would provide in a classroom setting in a virtual environment. We were able to accomplish this through a partnership with the University of Florida (UF) Lastinger Center that provided teachers a virtual platform for teaching reading.” Each of the 1,400 students who are enrolled in the virtual program received their very own “virtual learning pathway” that matches them with lessons appropriate for their current instructional needs.

Each student participating in the program received a starter pack consisting of a headset, paper, pencils, index cards (that can be used to make letter cards), crayons, and a folder.

“The Summer-Mester in Charleston is an excellent example of a district going the extra mile to ensure that children receive the best possible instruction during these difficult times, said Dr. Paige Pullen, Chief Academic Officer for the UF Lastinger Center for Learning. “Through our virtual learning platforms, teachers provide small-group, evidence-based reading instruction tailored to meet students’ individual needs. This growth in reading performance will allow students to transition to fall learning with confidence.”

In addition to the academic curriculum, there are enrichment activities, physical education activities, social-emotional learning, and virtual field trips provided by The Charleston Museum. Pre and post-assessments will be used to gauge effectiveness.

For more information, contact the Office of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.

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