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San Diego Sees a Decline in Summer Enrichment Student Enrollment, Yet Increases Program Hours

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Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Deandre Barrett

Written By Deandre Barrett  |  News  |  0 Comments | August 2, 2023

This year, the San Diego Unified School District’s summer enrichment program has significantly changed. While the number of enrolled students has decreased compared to previous years, the district intentionally decided to provide a higher level of programming for those who did enroll. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind the drop in enrollment, the focus on priority students, and the shift towards offering full-time programs to ensure a more enriching experience for participants.

Understanding the Enrollment Numbers

According to recent reports from The San Diego Union-Tribune, about 8,000 students enrolled in the summer enrichment program this year; This is a notable decrease from the 23,500 students who enrolled last year and the 13,700 students the year before. The district’s senior director of extended learning opportunities, Tobie Pace, explained that this reduction in enrollment was intentional. The objective was to ensure that the enrolled students could benefit from an increased number of hours of programming.

Prioritizing the “Priority” Students

Out of the students who did enroll in the summer enrichment program, approximately 71% were categorized as “priority” students. The term “priority” refers to students from specific groups, including low-income students, homeless students, foster youth, English learners, and disabled students. The district deliberately targeted and prioritized these students to benefit from the extended learning opportunities provided by the summer program. The community aims to address educational disparities and ensure equitable access to enriched learning experiences by focusing on these priority students.

Transition to Full-Time Programs

In previous years, the district’s summer enrichment program offered part-time programs that spanned only a few days a week and lasted a few hours. However, in response to feedback from working families who faced childcare challenges, the district made a significant change this year; The summer program transitioned to providing full-time programs that run for nine hours a day, five days a week. This shift allows students to engage more deeply in various enrichment activities, fostering a more immersive and enriching learning experience.

Focus on Quality Programming

Despite declining enrollment numbers, the San Diego summer enrichment program focuses on providing high-quality and diverse enrichment opportunities. The district collaborated with over 80 local nonprofits, offering over 90 enrichment programs across 77 school campuses and 58 off-site locations. This extensive range of programs ensures that enrolled students can explore their interests in various fields, including outdoor activities, sports, arts, STEM/STEAM, and more.

Student Hires Programs

At Student Hires, we aim to elevate disadvantaged youth in our community by providing practical, experience-based learning opportunities. We work with college students who serve as mentors and role models for K–12 students. Our efforts are designed to give these youngsters the skills and knowledge they’ll require to succeed in their chosen vocations. One of our primary goals is to end the poverty cycle by enabling kids access to all they need to reach their most significant potential.


The San Diego Unified School District’s summer enrichment program has decreased enrollment this year, with approximately 8,000 students participating. However, this decrease was intentional, as the district sought to focus on priority students and provide more extensive programming for a more enriching experience. 

By transitioning to full-time programs and collaborating with local nonprofits, the district remains committed to offering diverse and high-quality enrichment opportunities for its students. The summer enrichment program continues to play a vital role in the district’s efforts to support student development and provide an inclusive and engaging learning environment during the summer break.

Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Deandre Barrett

About Deandre Barrett

Deandre Barrett is a computer programming major at Lehigh Carbon Community College. He currently juggles a life balance between doing course work and marketing apprenticeships with Acadium. After graduating from the Acadium 3rd cohort in 2020 and finishing creating gaming reviews for Blasting News in 2017. He is now creating content for Student Hires and looks to use his experience to take the company to the next level. Student Hires has been focused on collaborating with K-12 schools & universities, as well as community employers, to create valuable job opportunities for local college & university students.

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