The West Tisbury School will open a summer session in July for students who have fallen behind on their learning during the pandemic.

The school recently was awarded a $90,000 state grant for the summer program, principal Donna Lowell-Bettencourt told the up-Island school committee Monday night.

West Tisbury automatically qualifies for a second summer as long as state funding is made available, she added.

“We’re hoping this is going to be a two-year program,” said Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt, who in March presented the committee with what she described as the lowest student proficiency numbers she had ever seen among first-graders at the school. 

The month-long session, which runs Monday through Thursday until August 4, will combine classroom learning with field trips, outdoor activities and games, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said.

“Part of the grant was to have a program that would be sustainable for families and also would encourage kids to keep coming every day, [with] a lot of fun injected into the program,” she said.

Parents will be able to drop their children off at the school as early as 7:30 a.m., with a 2 p.m. pickup time, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said.

Free breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided by Island Grown Initiative, which also uses the school as a pick-up spot for its free summer lunch program, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said.

In March, the principal said about 100 West Tisbury students had been identified as likely to benefit from summer school. But the grant is not written for a specific number of students, she said this week.

Children from other schools are not covered by the grant, although fifth-graders graduating from Chilmark School this year may attend as they’re technically West Tisbury students for middle school.

While the program is open four days a week, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said part-time attendance can be arranged.

“We want to work with all families to be able to participate,” she said.

Hiring for the summer school has already begun, with a mix of school employees and newcomers signed up and additional interviews under way, Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said.

Also Monday, schools finance director Mark Friedman reported the latest on two long-festering facilities needs, the Chilmark School’s HVAC system and the roof of the West Tisbury School.

Contractor bids for the roof project are due in June, with a contract to be awarded at the beginning of July, Mr. Friedman said.

But the work itself will not begin until September, with a projected completion date in early November — a calculated move, Mr. Friedman said, citing advice from the owner’s project manager and the designers for the project.

“Avoiding the height of the summer season here will encourage maybe a little more bidding for us, because it would ease the logistical issues for contractors; and also it would allow them a little more time to prepare materials,” he said. “There are still supply chain issues out there, so this would allow them more time to obtain the materials and then be able to really get the project going . . . in September.”

In Chilmark, progress has stalled on replacing the school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system after a first round of bids came in wildly over budget last winter.

Mr. Friedman said the owner’s project manager has recommended hiring an architect to fine-tune the plans in areas where bid specifications were not completely clear.

“The bidders have to assume the worst or most expensive scenarios,” the finance director said. “With the help of an architect, we will revise and clarify a few areas in the scope, and put it up to bid [again] . . .

We’re hoping we can keep this project within budget, but this is a challenge,” he added.

Near the end of Monday’s online meeting, West Tisbury school committee member Kate DeVane told her colleagues she will not seeking re-election at the end of her current term, which expires this fall.

“I want to give somebody else in the West Tisbury community the chance to pull papers and organize themselves, so they can be ready to go and not have to do a write-in ballot as I did when I first came to the school committee,” said Ms. DeVane, who was first elected in 2014.

Nomination papers are available both from town halls and from the Martha’s Vineyard Public School District’s central office in Vineyard Haven.