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Detroit Public Schools Set ‘Virtual Summer Camp’

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mattroush Matt Roush
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The Detroit Public Schools and their technology partner, the textbook company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, last week launched Virtual Summer Camp – a fun, free online learning program designed to bridge the summer learning gap and better prepare K-8 students for the next school year.

DPS will offer this interactive program to help students get a head start on reading and math for next year, using the Destination Learning Management System.

All K-8 students will be automatically enrolled in Virtual Summer Camp and can access the program any time of the day, at home or anywhere with Internet connection. Students will receive 10 educational activities per week that are custom designed based on student assessment data to tackle DPS students’ specific educational needs.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose nearly two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months, with low-income students losing an additional two months in reading achievement.

Through Aug. 31, DPS students will have access to Virtual Summer Camp to get a head start on reading and math for next year. The online, educational activities were custom designed based on student assessment data to tackle DPS students’ low-performing skill sets. 

Virtual Summer Camp is part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s partnership with DPS to provide a unique, integrated education solution that combines advanced technology, customized lesson plans and educator training and development to improve student learning.

Login information was recently distributed to students on a flyer. Additionally, parents and students can call technical services (888) 327-2906 to retrieve their username and password.

Once logged in, students will receive fun, interactive assignments based on grade level and can work on them at their own pace. Students also are given access to previously posted assignments if they skip a lesson. Additionally, students who are ahead of their grade level in various subjects and looking for new challenges can skip ahead using an “Explore” function.  At the end of the summer, DPS teachers will be able to analyze data from Virtual Summer Camp usage reports in order to build more customized lesson plans based on student skill levels.

DPS’ eight Parent Resource Centers are actively participating in helping students use Virtual Summer Camp, with available computers and trained staff to assist both in person and by phone. In addition, it can be accessed online through the Detroit Public Library, branches of the City of Detroit Parks & Recreation, Detroit YMCA locations, area churches, and community development centers.

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