GRANDVIEW - The results from this past summer's Grandview School District summer school are encouraging, according to summer school administrator Pam Kinne.
Kinne addressed the Grandview School Board Monday evening, last night, informing them of the strides in improvement that have been made with the school district's summer school program.
She said she began working with the summer school program in 2005 and the program was not highly successful at the time. But, changes have been made, improving the percentage of students attending summer school and improving the number who earned credits. The percentage of students who earned math credits in 2006, the year Kinne began collecting data, was at 8 percent. The results of those who earned math credits during 2008 improved to 78 percent.
Kinne said there are a number of factors involved with the improvements. The major reason students are learning better, according to her, is the fact that teachers are tailoring the curriculum to fit the schedule.
"There was too much, too many units, for summer school," she stated, saying teachers now focus on the key elements and units necessary for a student to learn material necessary for passing both summer school and the WASL exam.
Instead of combining all courses into one class, the courses have been separated and students have become more engaged with each other and teachers since Kinne began working with the summer school program. "They are more involved, building relationships," she noted.
As a result of the changes and improvements in the program, Kinne said the number of students earning credits overall has increased to 76 percent, 121 students of 156 enrolled in the program.
"I don't think the progress is a fluke," she said.
However, Kinne said she does not feel all students who should be in the summer program are participating. She said she feels the school district can work on improving the enrollment numbers.
Kinne said she has suggestions for the district in furthering improvements within the program. They include hiring staff earlier and changing from a six-week (24-day) program to a four-week (20-day) program.
The latter, Kinne believes, will benefit both teachers and students. The four-week program would, if the school board agrees to it, begin after the Fourth of July, providing staff members a break between the last day of the regularly scheduled school calendar and preparation time for the summer school program. It would benefit students in that those who are involved with harvest, such as cherries, would be afforded the opportunity to participate in the summer school program.
"We don't feel the curriculum will be lost (with the four-week program) and I believe enrollment will increase," said Kinne, explaining some results may decrease as a result of the increased enrollment. She said she feels any decline in growth and improvement data will be temporary.
. Jennie McGhan can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org