"Basically I have gotten a ‘Too bad, so sad, none of us can help you,’ and you know that MCPS committed to offering in person summer school for every MCPS student," said Betty Ball, who has two sons, one of whom is a rising Kindergartner.
Ball said she was hoping that her youngest son who is also special needs and currently enrolled in the Preschool Education Program (PEP) would be able to attend summer school at Beall Elementary School in Rockville because that is where he will be starting kindergarten in the fall.
But Ball said she was told enrollment is low, so he can’t attend summer school at that school.
She said she then tried with Stone Mill Elementary school, where he is currently enrolled, but because he will no longer be in the school after June 15, Ball was told her son cannot be in their summer school program.
Ball said she then tried for a third option with Dufief Mill Elementary School, since her older son attends that school but now she isn’t sure if her rising Kindergartner will be able to get into summer school there either.
"I don’t think any parent in MCPS should be told, ‘Sorry we don’t have enough kids so we can’t run the class,’ without having any other solution other than something online," Ball said.
MCPS spokesperson, Gboyinde Onijala told FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan that this is an issue at some elementary schools, but not all.
"Those schools are working to combine programs to create a class or may have a small number of students join a class at a neighboring school," Onijala explained.
"The Kindergarten Jumpstart program is a virtual alternative as well."
Onijala said currently, there are 46,000 students registered for summer programs.
Ball said she is not particularly keen on enrolling her son in the Kindergarten Jumpstart program since it’s another online program that would not be conducive to his special needs.
"It’s particularly frustrating because MCPS was given millions upon millions of dollars for summer school programs," said Ball.
"MCPS‘ guidance on summer school was not, ‘If there is enough enrollment we’re going to offer this,’. MCPS committed to offering in-person summer school for every single student who registered, period, end of story and they need to follow through on that for every student."