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Summer enrollment increasing for students in efforts to avoid learning loss

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School is out for summer for most students and, after Memorial day, summer learning begins.

More students in Jefferson County and in Tuscaloosa city schools are set to attend summer learning compared to last year.

Parents are doing what they can to help their children avoid summer learning loss.

"It's not that time anymore where parents are saying I want my students just to have the summer to themselves," Dr. Orletta Rush, Jefferson Co. Deputy Superintendent said.

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Rush says this year, 845 students are enrolled or on the waiting list. That number higher than last year when 644 attended summer school.

"It's invitation where we look at the students who are in most need for this opportunity," Rush said.

She says it doesn't just stop there, those on the waiting list have parents who don't want their children to suffer from summer learning loss.

"I have never had as many phone calls and requests, our parents are truly on board when it comes to this summer learning," Rush said.

Tuscaloosa city schools also seeing an increase in enrollment.

"We are at a point where we are reaching the threshold that we've been aiming for," TCS' director of strategic initiatives, Andrew Maxey said.

Maxey says that threshold is about 70 percent of elementary students.

"It's incredible for me to say out loud that one of our programs has in fact registered 72 percent of their K-4 students to be in their program this summer," Maxey said.

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He says across the district between four to five thousand elementary students are enrolled.

That's a combination of students who are invited because they need extra support and those who signup during open registration.

"Our programs aren't designed to push students academically, they're actually designed to protect students from summer learning loss and the way that we do that is to give them a very engaging program that keeps their brains engaged by keeping their minds active we preserve and sustain the great learning that happens during the school year," Maxey said.

Summer learning for Jefferson county students starts June 1st. It lasts for four weeks.

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For Tuscaloosa city schools, elementary and middle school students start May 31st. High school summer studies begin June 5th.

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