New summer school program offers reading help in Washington Co.

March 13, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE |

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A new summer school program will begin this year to help improve reading at the primary-grade level because the skill is so crucial as a student’s education progresses, the Washington County Public Schools superintendent announced Tuesday.

Superintendent Clayton Wilcox told Washington County Board of Education members about the new program during a budget work session on Tuesday morning at the Central Office in Hagerstown.

Other issues, such as contracted services, health care costs, and class sizes, were discussed during the work session, but no changes were made to the proposed $246 million budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

A public hearing for the proposed budget will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Office off Commonwealth Avenue.

The school system will still have a traditional summer school program, but also will provide a six-week program in July and August for targeted students who have finished first grade and are about to start second grade, school system officials said.

The program, which could go from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., is aimed at about 400 first-graders who need help improving their reading skills, school system officials said.

Invitations will be sent to parents in a week or two, Assistant Superintendent Donna Hanlin said after the work session.

About 40 teachers would be needed. They would receive a week of training before summer school starts, officials said.

The proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year shifts $125,000 from professional development workshops and $375,000 from instructional materials to provide $500,000 for the program, officials said.

Hanlin said the $795,000 left for elementary through secondary instructional materials should be enough to handle other needs.

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