Summer academy program keeps Goochland elementary students on track for fall

Posted at 1:15 PM, Jul 22, 2021

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam took a visit to Goochland Elementary School Thursday morning to tour the school as students learned through a summer program.

During her visit, Northam got to engage with elementary and kindergarten students who are in the 'Powers Scholar Academy Program.'

The program runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, allowing students to learn researched-base courses, as well as extracurricular activities.

Leaders with the Goochland school division said they partnered with the United Way and YMCA to get the program up and running. It's free of charge thanks to grants from those two organizations.

School leaders also said safety is also the most important thing, so they're following the new recommendations for masks inside schools.

At the elementary level, it's recommended that everyone wears a mask while indoors regardless of vaccination status, however schools can set their own rules.

"We air on the side of caution. Our current polices are fully-vaccinated adults in the building -- when there are only adults in the building, may choose if they wear their mask or not," said Kelley Taylor, the summer administrator for the elementary school. "But we do require that all students and unvaccinated people wear their masks. And, of course, when there’s students in the building, we all mask up."

"They weren’t even paying attention to the mask or anything. They were really involved in the great games and stuff they were learning here today," Northam observed.

She added, "The governor put 62 million dollars into dedicated to summer learning opportunities to make sure that the communities have what they needed to be able to provide this for our students who need it going into the fall. And you can really see that at work here today.”

School leaders in Goochland said that the summer program will end next week, with students heading back into the classroom on Aug. 23.