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Pay for some teachers to increase as summer school enrollment rises amid COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic has students heading to summer school at almost double the rate over previous years.

VIDOR, Texas — Summertime means summer break for most, but this summer may look a little different as fewer high school students in Southeast Texas are taking the break at all.

The pandemic has them heading to summer school at almost double the rate over previous years.

The COVID-19 had a direct impact on children in school this past year. With some students responding to virtual learning better than others, there is no question that the pandemic has increased summer school enrollment.

"Their education was impacted," said Vidor ISD Superintendent Jay Killgo.

After a challenging year of reinventing ways to interact in the classroom, Killgo believes there is no replacement for face-to-face instruction.

"They're behind,” he said. “Could be they need to catch up on credits. It could be they weren't successful on the STAAR test, but all of those factors are result of COVID."

Killgo said Vidor ISD saw over twice as many students enrolled than years past, reaching 500 students.

"We were blown away by the attendance on that first day,” Killgo said. “We received many more students than we expected. It affected our transportation routes are feeding, but we adjusted quickly."

"More kids in elementary about 25 more kids and middle school and about 50 More kids in high school," Nederland ISD Superintedent Stuart Kieschnick said.

Kieschnick agrees, saying his district has also doubled attendance this summer and knows the COVID-19 learning gaps are to blame.

With teachers putting in extra work with face-to-face and virtual learning, Nederland ISD gave an incentive to teachers.

"We upped our summer school teaching salary from $25 an hour to $30 an hour,” Kieschnick said. “We felt like that was the right thing to do to give our teachers a bit of bump to come back and work extra duty this summer."

It’s all just one more way the pandemic has stretched teachers and students alike.

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