WACO, TX — Summer school enrollment across the United States is on the rise as schools shift to normal operation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The morning at Parkdale Elementary School kicks off around a fake campfire singing songs loud and proud. It's led by their Teacher, Rebecca DeLeon.
Sitting in a circle shoulder to shoulder is something kids in the classroom aren't used to because of previous social distancing guidelines.
"We get to do a lot more collaboration and we finally get to do that that during summer school," De Leon said. "We get to sing and get to dance and we do activities. We started with a spiderweb of kindness."
DeLeon said the lifted restrictions just makes her job even better.
"I'm just so excited to see them for the whole school year," DeLeon said. "When the masks started coming off, I definitely didn't recognize some of them unless we were quarantined on ZOOM."
Waco ISD Assistant Superintendent, Deena Cornblum, said this year there are 690 more students enrolled in summer school. Summer school was canceled last year, but they decided to bring it back safely.
Cornblum said it's because some students had difficulty learning during the pandemic.
"The environment wasn't as stable this year, and out all of these factors together and it wasn't easy, it was difficult," Cornblum said.
Back in the classroom, Mrs. De Leon continues to assign projects and carry on because they are eager to complete them.
"My kids show up every day just excited to learn because they know we are going to start with an activity and we are going to incorporate that," DeLeon said.
The summer classes run for a total of four weeks.