MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In the midst of a fall break, some Shelby County Schools students are spending their vacation in the classroom.
Around 2,000 students were enrolled for the first year of the Fall Break Learning Academy.
After seeing success with the summer academy, the district offered students the option to spend their vacation time learning. The district said the goal of the academy is to prevent any learning gaps during time off and to give students extra help if needed.
In the district, 19 schools are serving as learning academy sites. At White Station Elementary in East Memphis, there were 250 students enrolled for the week.
Dr. Tanya Kelly is the assistant principal at Dexter Elementary but this week she’s the fall break academy site administrator at White Station.
She said students, for the most part, have been excited about attending the academy.
“Some of the students asked their parents to bring them. They didn’t want to be at home, on the couch, bored, nothing to do and they wanted to make their time meaningful,” Dr. Kelly said.
For elementary students, it’s very much like a normal school day. They focus on reading and math skills.
Collin Jones, a 5th grade student, said one of his favorite parts is meeting students from other schools. It also helps him improve his math skills, he said.
“It’s very fun and the fact that I get to experience new things with people from different classes is very fun. I get to learn things, like I said, I have difficulties with math, so it helps me with my strength in math to grow more,” Jones said.
Dr. Kelly said they try to keep the school days fun, too. Each day she implemented a dress-up day, and on Friday they’ll have a school dance.
“We’re making it fun here at White Station Elementary. Because it’s fall break, we don’t want them to have any pressure or stress. We just want them to make sure they’re having a ball here,” she said.
During the fall academy, high schoolers work on ACT prep.
During the academy, students are served free meals. The schools also provide before and after care.
The district will also hold a spring break learning academy.