MEMPHIS, Tenn — TCAP scores are higher than last year but still less than a quarter of students are proficient or better in most TCAP scoring.
LaWanda Cooper-McDaniel, a rising 2nd grade teacher at Southwind Elementary Summer Learning Academy said they aren't satisfied with these numbers.
"We do see trending up but we're not satisfied, we want to continue to move up," Cooper-McDaniel said.
In an effort to better test scores, the summer learning academies across Shelby County Schools have a variety of ways they enrich student learning at no cost to families.
"We start off with phonics in the morning time and they love that to learn how to break the words down - how to pronounce words," Cooper-McDaniel said.
They also encourage lightbulb moments. A moment when you see a child get something correct or use something they learned.
"When I hear the children utilizing the vocabulary words that we're learning, that's a great moment when you hear them say it in conversation ... and you can hear them use words that they don't use everyday," Cooper-McDaniel said.
Teachers said there's more work to be done within the district but Tarsha Hudson, a teacher and parent in the district said opportunities like the Summer Learning Academy are crucial for learning experiences.
"As a parent, I know when programs are offered like Summer Learning Academy, yes - I'm jumping on that opportunity so I can help enrich my child and so I can help enrich others," Hudson said.
Hudson's daughter, Eliana Hudson, is in the program for the first time and says it's something fun for her.
"It makes it fun for me because I get to learn new problems and new things," Eliana Hudson said.
Summer Learning Academy has been available for multiple years throughout the district but this summer, schools are accepting students through the last week of the program to make sure everyone has the opportunities to learn.
Hudson said there are so many programs offered to students year-round to help improve test scores but changes won't happen overnight.
"Memphis Shelby County Schools has so many things put in place with the tutoring, before and after care programs, the Summer Learning Academy, the enrichment programs, the creative and performing arts [and] the interventions," Hudson said. "All of these things are being put in place so it takes time. The learning loss didn't happen overnight so catching up and getting on track is not going to happen overnight either. We have to be patient and know that teachers are coming in and doing everything that they can to make sure we get children back on track."
If you would like to sign your student up for the Summer Learning Academy you can contact your school district.