A Free Summer School Program Designed for a Post Pandemic World

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Superintendent Alfonzo Forrest left and Jean Regnier right

African American private K-8 school founded by NFL player, designs model post-pandemic summer program. Academic rigor, athletics and out of state field trips address learning loss, isolation and stress experienced during the covid19 pandemic.

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(Spin Digit Editorial):- New York City, New York Jun 3, 2022 (Issuewire.com) – Alfonzo Forrest, superintendent of the Trey Whitfield School (TWS) said in a winter executive session meeting “Summer school must address the needs of students and parents in a post-pandemic world. We have four objectives; first, provide rigorous academic programming to mitigate learning loss. Secondly, design activities to address the de-socialization that occurred with students starring at computer screens for nearly two years instead of being in a classroom. Thirdly, now that we understand the psychological and social impact of the pandemic, summer programs must integrate activities for unique learners, special education students, and students with IEPs. Finally, we must incorporate appropriate athletic activities to compensate for students having been stuck indoors for so long.” The learning loss has been corroborated by various analyses; based on numerous models, current 3rd-grade students will still be 1.05 to 1.55 years behind their education targets when they reach the 10th grade in 2028 (International Journal of Educational DevelopmeVolume 18, March 2021).


In order to achieve their 2022 summer school objectives, TWS constructed a free six-week summer program that runs five days each week from July 6th to Friday, Aug. 12Th 2022. From Monday to Thursday, four hours of each day are devoted to rigorous academic exercises. 90 minutes each day is devoted to structured exercise and athletics. On Fridays students and parents participate in field trips, including multiple out-of-state field trips. The summer program will conclude with a field trip to Washington DC to visit the African American Museum and the new Latino Center at the Smithsonian National Museum. Deborah Johnson (TWS lower school principal) stated “What we are seeking is a return to normal in as safe a manner as possible. Structured exercise, field trips with parents, and good old fashion playing contribute to students’ mental health.” In one study mentioned by the Academy of Medicine, 53% of participants stated that they experienced some negative psychological impact from the covid19 pandemic.


AB Whitfield, (TWS co-founder, chief operating officer, and former member of the Dallas Cowboys) said, “Our faculty is excellent so we weren’t concerned about constructing the summer academic program to address pandemic-related learning loss. We did reach outside for special education programming and athletic programming. I think we found great people.” Diane Dixon, Brooklyn-born Gold and Silver Medalist in the 4 x 400-meter relays at the 1984 and 1998 Olympics respectively, has designed all summer athletic activities. Ms. Dixon, who also has two master’s degrees, is joining the program as the TWS Ambassador of Academics & Athletics. Ms. Dixon stated, “I am very happy to work with TWS. My son attended the school and I am very familiar with their commitment to excellence.” Ms. Dixon will be at TWS on Saturday, June 18th to discuss healthy nutrition with parents and the community. In addition, Jean Regnier is working with TWS and has designed targeted summer programming for special education students (Students with IEPs). Mr. Regnier, a former Brooklyn Borough Director for the New York City Dept of Education is also the recipient of the Distinguished Member Award from the National Association for Educating Homeless Children and Youth. Regnier stated, “I agree with Ms. Dixon. My son attends TWS and I too have seen their commitment to excellence. I am also aware of the great job the school does with all students, including unique learners and students with IEPs. Over 50 TWS graduates who were special education students have gone on to attend elite private high schools with full scholarships. This place is special.” Mr. Regnier is also the president of Meta Logic Strategic Consulting which works with the parents of special education students who are concerned about the education, services, and resources their students are receiving.

For more information on the Trey Whitfield School 2022 Summer program contact Ms. Pamela Green at 718 342-7722 ext 309. [email protected]



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