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Thousands enroll in new OKC program

OKLAHOMA CITY – While many children are soaking up the rays this summer, some are using the summer months to get ahead in the classroom.

Carma Barlow, Instructional Leader for Teach for America, said, “Normally over the summer students can lose up to two months of instructional knowledge just because they have a lot of time so they forget things.”

This is the first time Oklahoma City Public Schools are working with Teach for America for Summer University.

Barlow said Summer University is “an opportunity to get intervention of the gaps that normally happen over summer.”

Teachers say there is one advantage to Summer University that makes it different from other programs.

Isabella Barrett, Master Teacher at Oklahoma City Public Schools, said, “This allows the student to consistently practice the skills but in a smaller setting so they have more one-on-on with the teacher.”

2,000 students are enrolled in the voluntary program.

About 7 to 10 students are in each classroom, which is half the size of a typical class.

The repeal of Common Core does little to affect the Summer University.

Barrett said, “Their objectives are derived from the Common Core standards and so they’re really trying to just elevate the rigor in the classroom.”

Summer University is also a way for new teachers to get hands on experience at a school system that needs more class leaders.

Barrett said, “Partnering with an organization like Teach for America introduces new teachers to the scene from different areas all over the country, and I think that’s a great way to build the number of teachers we have here.”

The summer school will run until July 10.