Summer classes for some pupils — by invitation
Once again, School District 51 will not fund summer learning programs at its schools this summer. But a handful of local schools will have invitation-only summer programming thanks to grants.
The district cut summer extended learning programs in 2011 during a four-year period of budget cuts. Although the district’s 2013-14 budget cycle included a funding increase of $3.9 million year over year, that money did not restore summer program funding.
Lesley Rose, District 51 executive director of academic achievement in elementary schools, said the district hopes to one day bring back summer school but for now personnel are focusing resources on new “intercessions” throughout the school year. The weeklong intercessions offer students who are behind in one or more subjects a chance to catch up during a school break. An intercession week was introduced this March during half of spring break and another intercession week will likely be added during fall break October 6-10.
Clifton Elementary, Mount Garfield Middle School and Rocky Mountain Elementary will each use funding from a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant authorized by No Child Left Behind and distributed through the Colorado Department of Education to pay for summer programming this year.
Each school has already selected which children to invite to summer programming based on academic need. Only students who live in school attendance boundaries were eligible to participate.
Clifton’s programming will take place five mornings a week June 2-27. Approximately 120 students were invited to participate, according to Clifton Principal Julie Schmalz. Students will work on academics four days a week and spend Fridays taking field trips or having art, math, science and literature volunteers visit the school.
Rocky Mountain will have programming four days per week June 16 through July 10. Rocky Mountain Principal Patti Virden estimated Thursday 67 students will attend. Students will spend half of each day on academics and the other half of each day on enrichment activities, plus a community service project that has yet to be determined.
Mount Garfield will have a Monday through Thursday morning program June 9 through July 3. An estimated 53 students will work on reading, writing and math plus activities like study and organization skills, according to Mount Garfield Principal Terrie Recqua. Partners will assist the school with crafts and games.
R-5 High will use a Tiered Improvement Grant for dropout prevention to offer summer programming.
Students will be able to go to the school to work on credit recovery for classes.
While regular summer school has yet to return, the district has continued to offer mandated summer programming for special education students, also on an invitation-only basis based on the needs of students who may otherwise have trouble maintaining skills over the summer, according to District 51 Executive Director of Student Services Tanya Skalecki. Nine teachers will work with 83 students with varying needs at a summer program at Redlands Middle School and two teachers will work with 13 students in an autism-only program on The Opportunity Center campus.
Both programs are for preschool through age 21 and will take place June 9-20 and July 7-18.