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Summer school in the Tri-state:

Students play catchup on credit, course requirements

Students play catchup on credit, course requirements

July 08, 2002|by CAILIN MCGOUGH

cailinm@herald-mail.com

When school lets out, summer school is in for a number of area students who go to catch up on course requirements or gain credit to get ahead.

In Washington County, some students attend as a requirement for promotion to the next grade level, but others come to get extra help with reading, writing and math, Executive Director of Secondary Education Boyd Michael III said.

Michael said 269 students are enrolled in high school summer school classes and 625 students are enrolled in middle school classes, which are held for 19 days.

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"We've selected curriculum designed around a short program," Michael said. "It's designed to have a significant impact in a short amount of time."

More than 700 second-grade students are also targeted in an effort to improve reading and writing, said Executive Director of Elementary Education JoEtta Palkovitz-Brown.

"It's important to make sure they have the opportunity to be supported in an extended year program so they'll be able to meet the challenges of reading more independently at the third-grade level," Brown said.

The Chambersburg School District offers music and driver's education classes, but does not provide remedial courses, Dr. Eric Michael, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said.

"In the past we used to have a full-blown summer school program, but we found it very difficult to support that," Michael said. "The number of students wanting to take that kept dwindling and dwindling."

Instead, students may enroll in Keystone National High School for a six-week correspondence program that allows them to raise a grade in a course from an F to a D.

In Jefferson County, W.Va., about 184 students in grades 7 through 12 will take summer school classes in science, English, mathematics and social studies as well as "a few classes for students to get ahead of the game," said Associate Superintendent Beverly Hughes.

A weeklong camp for severely handicapped children and a summer program for children requiring an extended school year will be held, as well as Energy Express, a community program for elementary school students run by AmeriCorps volunteers, Hughes said.

Middle school students in Berkeley Co., W.Va., who are in danger of being retained attend a six-week remediation program focusing on mathematics and language arts skills, said Ron Stephens, principal in charge of summer school for Berkeley County.

Almost 500 high school students are registered for summer courses, which run through July 30.

PLATO, a new computer-based training program students use to work for credit in a number of classes, lets the school offer additional classes, Stephens said.

"We're able to use it for some courses that we didn't have enough students sign up for and couldn't hire a teacher for," Stephens said.

An extended learning program attended by 600 elementary students will provide more time for them to grasp concepts, said Chris Edwards, director of federal programs for Berkeley County schools.

"We tell parents to send their kids in play clothes," she said. "We try to do a lot of hands-on learning as opposed to desks and textbooks."

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