The district plans to alert families of their status in the program by Friday.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Schools out for the summer, but Pittsburgh Public Schools’ summer program is pumping the brakes.

“The first half-day is supposed to be all about academics, learning social and emotional learning skills, and literacy and mathematics. And the second half of the day is enrichment,” said PPS Chief Academic Officer Minika Jenkins.

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Pittsburgh Public Schools alerted 2,500 families on Wednesday that the Summer Boost Program will not start on time.

“We would need 127 more staff to be able to fully support all 2,500 students,” Jenkins said.

Citing the pandemic, Jenkins said there are just not enough adults to staff the program.

“Everyone is just tired and needs an opportunity to unplug and recoup and prepare for the next year. And I understand in that area the challenges our staff has faced,” Jenkins said.

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While the district is using next week to find extra help, it’s likely nearly 1,000 kids could be cut from the program.

“The students we bring in if we have to reduce will be the ones who need it the most, but the challenge is everyone really needs it,” Jenkins said.

The program is now set to kick off June 28 and run through early August. Jenkins said all they can do is hope for more help and focus on the needs of the kids.

“We had about 13 external applicants who applied by June 14 and seven new applicants who just applied last night,” Jenkins said.

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The district plans to alert families of their status in the program by Friday.