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A Recovery for All of Us: Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter, DYCD Commissioner Chong Announce Innovative Summer Rising Plan

April 13, 2021

Summer Rising will provide hands-on academic support & enrichment opportunities as well as critical childcare services  
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter and Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong today announced Summer Rising, the City’s free, summer plan for any child in grades K-12 who wants to participate. For the first time ever, the City will use the Community Schools strategy to integrate the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE’s) academic supports and DYCD’s school-based enrichment programming to create a comprehensive summer program during the most critical summer for New York City students. Summer Rising will be student-centered, experiential, academically rigorous and culturally responsive and sustaining.  
Applications for in-person K-8 programs will open on Monday, April 26, and families can sign up through the discover DYCD website. Kindergarten and elementary school students will participate in a five-day a week program for seven weeks, providing critical childcare services for families as they return to the workplace. Students with 12-month IEPs will participate in a five-day a week program for six weeks. Middle school students will participate in a four-day a week program for six weeks, and high school students will participate in a five week program with tailored scheduling to meet their needs. In addition, high school students will have the opportunity to engage in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and participate in the Public Schools Athletic League. Schools will begin outreach to families of high school students in the coming weeks to confirm participation. Students attending for promotion purposes will be in the same program as students participating for enrichment.
“Our kids have been through so much, and they need our support as we build a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is a free program for all New York City students, combining academics and cultural enrichment for the best summer yet.”

“This summer is pivotal for our school communities, and we have created a summer experience unlike anything we have ever done before to bring our students back stronger than ever. Summer Rising will be a holistic experience that combines the power of strong academic supports, social emotional learning and enrichment programming,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “Through this innovative partnership with DYCD and our trusted community partners, and thanks to our heroic principals, teachers and staff, we’ll be able to serve any New York City student who wants to attend in-person so they can receive the comprehensive supports they need during this critical time.”
“Summer Rising is truly the best of both worlds: bringing together for the first time the strengths of DYCD-funded summer enrichment initiatives and DOE’s academic programs into a singular experience for young people, particularly those from communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. DYCD and our network of community providers are excited to join DOE in keeping classrooms open this summer for safe learning, childcare, connection, and fun,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.  
Summer Rising will address immediate academic and social emotional needs of children and youth across the City. Planned and operated collaboratively by school principals and trusted community-based organizations (CBOs), programs for students in grades K-8 will be available citywide including tailored support for those who need academic support and students with disabilities. These programs will provide a bridge to next school year and allow students to re-connect with one another and with their schools, to ensure continued learning, and provide avenues for recreation, exploration, and fun. High school students will have access to academic and social emotional supports designed locally to meet the unique needs of older students.  
Summer locations will be available in every borough, with nearly half of all DOE school buildings serving students citywide. All programs will follow rigorous health and safety protocols and have access to testing, nursing support and a telehealth call center. In addition, Situation Room policies and protocols will be followed.  
All K-8 students participating in programs will have access to academic classes, enrichment programming including field trips, arts activities and outdoor recreation, and will engage in daily social emotional learning activities.    
All programs will be free, in-person, and run in four time frames:  

  • Students in grades K-5 will participate in summer programming from July 6 to August 20. Students will engage five days a week, receiving academic support, engaging in social emotional learning activities, and participating in enrichment programming.   
  • Students with 12-month IEP services will participate in summer programming from July 2 to August 13, five days a week. They will receive instruction and related services based on their IEPs, as well as enrichment programming.  
  • Students in grades 6-8 will participate in summer programming from July 6 to August 12. Students will engage four days a week, receiving academic support, engaging in social emotional learning activities, and participating in enrichment programming.  
  • Students in grades 9-12 who have a Course in Progress, or who need to retake a course they failed in a prior term, will participate in academic instruction from July 6 to August 13. High school students will also have the opportunity to accelerate learning, and access social emotional supports and arts programming. Similar to prior years, high school students will continue to have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). 

There will be remote programming available for interested families whose children are mandated for summer learning or have a 12-month IEP. Program offerings for high school students will depend on school community need and may include a mix of in-person and remote options. 

Consistent with years prior, schools will notify families by June if their student is required to participate in summer learning and will share additional details with families about how they can enroll. These students will participate together in the same Summer Rising programs as those students not mandated to attend.

In line with previous policy and practice, grade promotion decisions are based on a holistic review of a student's progress toward meeting the standards for their grade level. Teachers will review multiple pieces of student work in English language arts and math to make these decisions. State test scores will not be a factor in whether a student is promoted. If a school requires a student to attend summer learning, their promotion to the next grade is contingent on demonstrating sufficient progress in their summer learning.   

 “It has been a tumultuous year for our City’s youth and Summer Rising is critical for our return to normal. Our students deserve every opportunity available to thrive and learn, and I encourage Queens families to take advantage of this innovative program. Many thanks to the Mayor, DOE and DYCD for this groundbreaking initiative,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr.

"Our students have suffered tremendously since the pandemic started, particularly those in communities hardest hit by Covid-19 and they will need support to successfully rebound. The Summer Rising program will provide them with the academic, social and emotional support they need to be ready for school in September while also having fun. The Council is proud to support this initiative and will continue fighting for the support and services our students need to thrive," said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“It is crucial that we connect every child from every zip code with summer enrichment programming that not only addresses COVID-19 academic setbacks, but that supports the whole child. Our children deserve summer programs that meet the needs of all students and that are centered on providing children and their families with wraparound support services including social and emotional supports and childcare, coupled with fun, active learning instruction emphasizing the arts, music, recreation, and field trips. Summer Rising will remove barriers to learning to enable meaningful connections, and an ability to meet the holistic needs of children and their families,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education.

"The more resources and opportunities we can create for children to succeed the better. It's been a challenging time for families balancing remote learning and we need to ensure we mitigate the COVID slide impact on students. The Summer Rising free summer plan is one way to do so," said Council Member Francisco Moya.

"For too many and for too long, summer has been a missed opportunity," said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik.  "No child or teenager is best served by sitting home all summer.  The city's free programming for elementary, middle, and high school students means that this summer, more youngsters will be active, engaging their minds and bodies."

“I applaud the advocacy of Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter, and Commissioner Chong to expand learning opportunities available for children in grades K-12 through the Summer Rising program. As the former Chair of the Committee on Youth Services, I know that educational enrichment for our young people is especially important during the summer months when schools are closed and parents must find alternative activities for their children. The implementation of a free summer program that encourages a student-centered and academically rigorous experience is a critical step to engage our young people. I am confident that this type of summer program will help our students remain focused on broadening their educational experience as they grow and mature, and I look forward to supporting similar initiatives in the near future," said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.

“The Summer Rising plan is an exciting development as we look to provide enrichment opportunities for students and help to offset some of the childcare burden on families. By combining some of the city’s best programs for young people, including the Summer Youth Employment Program, students of all ages will be able to access much-needed in-person instruction and ease the transition to full-time, in-person instruction this fall. Initiatives such as this only happen through robust public discourse and conversations between communities and families, and I am looking forward to sharing this program,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.

"This summer is going to be critical for our students who have  unprecedented academic, social, and emotional needs during these unprecedented times" Said Council Member Brad Lander "To have a program that will be available and accessible to all our kids, like Summer Rising, throughout the City will be integral in getting our kids the support they need after this traumatic year and on track to have a success year this fall." 

“Our students have had a difficult time adjusting to the changes caused by the Pandemic. Many of our most underserved children did not have access to reliable internet, a laptop, or personal space to study from during the start of the pandemic. Other students found it hard to adjust to a fully remote setting. This initiative will also help many parents and guardians by providing much-needed childcare services,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “We need to provide our students with the tools and the resources they need to be ready to return to school. I look forward to continuing to working alongside Mayor de Blasio, DOE Chancellor Porter, DYCD Commissioner Chong, teachers, parents, and advocates to ensure our students are receiving all of the support they need to return to school in September.”

"Every kid looks forward to their 104 days of summer break, but for far too many children this break comes without meals and time unsupervised while parents continue working. Summer Rising offers to deliver on the promise of universal summer camp that we've been fighting for with legislation I co-authored in the council," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio for bringing together the Departments of Education and Youth & Community Development to launch the innovative Summer Rising plan, I hope it is here to stay!"

"If children in Bed-Stuy or Crown Heights do not succeed, it is because adults have not done enough to give them opportunities. I have done everything in my power to give our students more opportunities, so I am delighted about the launch of Summer Rising. This is a chance to level the playing field for parents who do not have the means to send their children summer camp or tutoring. This is an example of innovative programming that provides real help to families who need it," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.

"As New York continues to rebuild from this devastating pandemic, Summer Rising will help K-12 students to remain engaged with structured learning in their school communities", said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.  "It is important that young people have opportunities to retake a course or accelerate on their current path; it is also important that youth have access to supports that further social and emotional learning."

“After a year of social distancing and zoom class, there’s nothing students need more than a summer of socialization and educational enrichment. Summer Rising is a creative and accessible summer program suited to support students after such a hard and tumultuous year. I’m grateful the Mayor’s Office, Department of Education and Department of Youth and Community Development are prioritizing the needs of young New Yorkers when crafting special programs for this summer,’ said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“I think it’s a great idea to give our students an opportunity to exercise their minds and get their creative juices flowing again, particularly after suffering through the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. I fully support this very necessary effort by the city to improve the education and well-being of our young people and I look forward to helping in any way that I can,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr.

"This is a much needed service for our K thru 12 students . Missing in school learning over the past year requires new and innovative approaches using resources from different agencies . Putting our students first is a great use of NYC resources," said Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry.          

“Our children have had such a difficult year socially, emotionally and, of course, academically,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. “We won’t know the full toll the pandemic took on their abilities and their learning for quite some time, but this summer program will provide a valuable way for them to start catching up on what they missed and to spend productive time with friends as they engage in creative learning opportunities.”

"After an incredibly difficult school year, I am thrilled that City Hall, the Department of Education and the Department of Youth & Community Development are teaming up for Summer Rising. Our kids deserve holistic, engaging and fun summer experiences that also help them prepare for what will hopefully be a much more typical academic year—and that's exactly what Summer Rising seeks to provide. North Brooklyn families will really benefit from this opportunity,” said Assembly Member Emily Gallagher.

"I applaud the DYCD and the NYCDOE for creating the Summer Rising program. Summer Rising will address the academic, social, emotional and cultural needs of NYC school students after the disruptiveness of our battle with COVID-19. With the help of community-based organizations, Summer Rising will prepare our students for success in the upcoming academic year," said Assembly Member David Weprin  

“Successful implementation of the community schools strategy has showed us what is possible when schools and Community Based Organizations partner together in meaningful ways,” said Christopher Caruso, Senior Executive Director for  the DOE’s Office of Community Schools. “Summer Rising will capitalize on this strategy at unprecedented scale and is a great step forward for our City’s children and families as we recover from the pandemic.”
“The big bold vision of Summer Rising is what is needed at this historic moment,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Wayof New York City.  “An approach that seeks to meet children’s unprecedented academic and social-emotional needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is essential.  The coordinated efforts of community based organizations working in partnership with schools will provide a strong springboard for the upcoming school year.  We are committed to working in partnership with the City of New York and other stakeholders to ensure the success of this important initiative.”

"Children deserve engaging programs that affirm their identities and offer joyful learning. Summer Rising will allow schools and nonprofits to partner and offer a blend of enrichment and acceleration to make this a great summer,” said Saskia Trail, President and CEO, ExpandED Schools.

“Our experience last summer with Recovery Lab affirmed what we have always known -- that combining academic and social emotional supports for children and youth is key. As an organization that is both a direct service provider and a capacity builder, Children's Aid is excited about the opportunity that Summer Rising presents to not only support New York City's students through the summer and into the new school year, but to bring about new ways for schools and communities to work together.  We are encouraged to see community-based organizations lifted up as crucial partners of the educational continuum as we continue to heal as a city. We stand ready as collaborators on the planning and implementation of this effort and are hopeful to see this level of partnership become the norm going forward,” said Phoebe Boyer, President and CEO, Children’s Aid.

"The Summer Rising program is a first of its kind enrichment program that will provide students and families an opportunity to access academic classes and outdoor recreational activities during the months school is not in session," said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. "I believe this program is a great opportunity for those students and families to get the personalized attention they require to catch up to their peers academically, which is especially necessary in light of the learning challenges that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Now more than ever, it is crucial that we create opportunities throughout the summer for young people to continue education and engage in their communities and with one another in safe and supportive environments. I commend Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter and Commissioner Chong for bridging the gap between the DOE and DCYD's summer programming and inviting all students to participate," said State Senator Leroy Comrie.

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