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Schools officials: Fewer students were in summer program

September 22, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Washington County Public Schools officials said they were more selective when inviting elementary and middle school students to its summer school program this year.

Officials cut the number of summer school sites by at least five, and had about 250 fewer elementary and middle school students participate, according to a presentation at this week's Board of Education meeting.

"We were very selective about the students invited to summer school this year," said Jill Burkhart, acting director of elementary education.

The students were chosen based on academic need, and were assessed by testing before and after summer school. Elementary students worked to maintain or improve their reading, literacy and math skills.

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Burkhart said the summer school program this year was a success.

The following information about the summer school program was released this week:

· Officials invited 272 kindergarten, first- and second-graders to summer school this year, 52 fewer students than in 2005. Burkhart said third-graders were invited in the past. Of the 272 students invited, 219 chose to attend. Of those students, 190 completed the program.

· About 57 percent of elementary students maintained their reading levels after completing summer school, said Bob Brown, coordinator of testing and accountability. About 22 percent improved their reading skills. About 20 percent did not maintain their skill levels or improve.

· About 21 percent of elementary students maintained their literacy levels after completing summer school, and 76.8 percent improved, Brown said. Of the elementary students enrolled in the math program, 12.2 percent maintained their skill levels and 80.4 percent improved.

· More than 1,400 middle school students were invited to attend the summer school reading or math programs. Of those, 412 students began the reading program and 344 students completed it. Of the 468 students who began the middle school math program, 386 completed it, Brown said.

· Of those enrolled in the middle school reading program, 39.5 percent maintained their skill levels and 38.4 percent improved their skill levels, he said. About 22 percent did not maintain or improve their skill levels. Of the middle school students enrolled in math, 6.7 percent maintained their skill levels and 87.6 improved, Brown said.

· High school students are not invited to summer school based on academic need. An open enrollment is held for students to register for one course before the start of summer school, he said. Of the 357 high school students who began summer school, 267 earned a high school credit for course completion.

· Brown said 46 high school students began summer school with the goal to receive the credit needed to graduate and 43 students received a diploma.

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