Intersession a success

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) offered a week-long intersession in October. This was the first of two one-week-long intersessions planned into the 2021-2022 school calendar. Intersession was strategically scheduled to provide intervention, enrichment and acceleration activities following a grading cycle or nine-week period, rather than delaying these experiences until the summer. All students were welcome to participate in fall intersession, but 716 students were personally invited based on teacher recommendations.

Intersession was a success. Using data from pre and post-tests in both reading and math, the division saw gains in student achievement in reading and mathematics in all but two grade levels.

The idea of intersession was first introduced during a calendar planning session for the current school year as a means to recover some of the learning loss due to the pandemic. During the intersession week, students were exposed to a myriad of remediation and enrichment activities. Half of the intersession day was tailored to remediate skills based on the deficits from the Standards of Learning Fall Growth Assessments that were administered in September while the other half of the day offered STEM-related and hands-on enrichment activities. Four hundred seventy-six students attended the intersession, which makes up 24% of the student population.

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The hands-on activities embraced the critical skills of the 5Cs: communication, creative thinking, critical thinking, collaboration and citizenship, which are needed to prepare students for their future.

Students and teachers who did not participate in the fall intersession took advantage of a mental break from school and work. Due to the success in the fall, PECPS is hopeful that the March intersession will attract more students as they prepare for end-of-year coursework to matriculate to the next grade level.

Prince Edward County Public Schools is an inclusive, student-centered community focused on inspiring confident, knowledgeable and productive citizens who are empowered to lead.