Data have shown that summer school is effective and extremely beneficial for students who have lagged behind during the previous school year. Assistant Superintendent Trish Viniard presented an overview of this year’s program to the district’s Curriculum Committee in June.
There were 146 K-2 students enrolled in the summer program at Adams School and 120 students enrolled in grades 3-6 at Baldwin. Additionally, forty-six special education students in grades K-12 also attended summer school based on the IEP determination that an extended school year was needed.
Summer classes for grades 7-12 were held at Quincy Junior High School There were 76 7th and 8th grade students selected to attend the half-day program in June based on a review of grades (D in Literacy or Math) and ISAT Scores. There were 79 students in the traditional Quincy High School program and 37 students doing credit recovery. These courses were provided primarily through APEX, a digital, on-line curriculum program. Consumer Education was taught to 37 students over the summer to free up time in their schedule for additional courses. There were 129 students enrolled in drivers’ education classroom and 78 in behind-the-wheel.
Funding for summer school is provided through various grants and, in some cases, student fees for secondary classes.
Assistant Superintendent Viniard reported that this is the second year that the district has taken a more direct and assertive approach to summer school by sending letters to parent/guardians indicating that student participation is “mandatory,” not voluntary, and requiring them to request a waiver if their child would not be attending. Staff members involved with summer programs expressed concerns about the number of students who are identified as needing the instruction/intervention yet who do not attend. In some cases, there are valid reasons for a student to not attend (e.g., cases where the student will be spending the summer out of town with the non-custodial parent). In a number of instances, however, a parent/guardian simply refuses the summer program stating that students “need a summer break from school.” Curriculum Committee members agreed that the long-standing culture of nine months of school and three months of summer vacation needs to shift. There needs to be more effort to raise parent/guardian awareness and acceptance of the critical value of summer school programs.
Most of the summer programs have been completed. However, a small number of K-6 students will participate in summer classes for two weeks in August prior to the start of school.