Aja Purnell-Mitchell, second from left, sits with her three children, Cartier, 14, left; Kyra, 15, and Kyla, 13, at a local food hub in Durham, N.C., on Friday, May 28, 2021, where they often help their mother. "Getting them back into it, helping them socialize back with their friends, maybe meet some new people, and, of course, pick up the things that they lacked on Zoom,” Purnell-Mitchell said, ticking off her hopes for the summer school session ahead, which will be the first time her children have been in the classroom since the coronavirus outbreak took hold in the spring of 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
As the second school year disrupted by the pandemic winds down, summer school plans are taking shape around the country. An influx of federal funding included in COVID-19 rescue legislation is letting districts broaden programming and offer spots to more students than ever before. The Biden administration is requiring states to pour at least $1.2 billion into summer enrichment programs. Districts also must reserve at least 20% of the windfall to address learning loss, which could include summer school, with a focus on students who have been most affected by the shift away from in-person learning.