Summer Camp cancelled for Shelby County Schools

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

Shelby County Schools has cancelled Summer Camp for 2020, in compliance with guidelines issued by the state Department of Education regarding a phased approach to reopening public schools.

The guidance issued by State Superintendent Eric Mackey stated that children under 12 could not return to school campuses until July 6, thus cutting into the Summer Camp schedule by several weeks.

“That would have taken away six weeks of camp, so there just wasn’t a point in trying to offer it for what was remaining in July,” said Shelby County Schools Public Relations and Community Education Supervisor Cindy Warner. “Other factors that influenced our decision was the uncertainty of our field trip businesses being open, capacity issues at those businesses, and being able to socially-distance students on school buses and in our school buildings to maintain a safe environment for everyone.”

Summer Camp would have been held the weeks of May 27 through July 29 at Calera Elementary, Forest Oaks Elementary, Helena Intermediate and Oak Mountain Elementary. Camp activities are focused on a different theme each year and include arts and crafts, games, free play and one field trip per week.

Summer Camp is one of several programs offered each year by Shelby County Schools Community Education, along with After School Care Programs (ASCP), enrichment programs and summer enrichment camps.

“It was our sincere desire to open Summer Camp, and we had delayed making an announcement until we were certain that it wasn’t going to be possible,” Warner said in a letter to parents.

The cancellation will not affect summer school driver’s education and health classes, which will be offered in a virtual format for classroom instruction. The driving portion will be done with social distancing and other precautions in place, Warner added.

“These classes do fall under the phased approach outlined by Dr. Mackey, which states that high school students in groups no larger than 10 can return to campus after June 6,” Warner said.

Summer Camp fees already paid will be applied as a credit to fall ASCP. Parents whose children will not be enrolling in ASCP should call 205-682-5958 to request a refund, while parents of outgoing fifth graders will receive a refund via check to be mailed to the address on file.

Ideas for summer activities may be found in a list compiled by the Alabama Afterschool Care Community Network at Alacn.org/out-of-school-resources-and-activities/.

For more information about Shelby County Schools Community Education, visit Shelbyed.k12.al.us/communityed.htm.