Grants to the rescue: Summer school is a go

School District 51 will get the grants it had been counting on to save summer school from becoming another budget casualty.

The district will receive $657,400 to serve 600 pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students from seven elementary schools: Chatfield, Dos Rios, Dual Immersion Academy, Fruitvale, Nisley, Rocky Mountain and Taylor. Each school is a Title I school, which helped qualify them for the Title I Supplemental Schools Grant.

Only students who will attend one of those seven schools in the fall will be able to participate in summer extended learning June 13 through July 21 at Dos Rios Elementary, Dual Immersion Academy, Fruitvale Elementary or Rocky Mountain Elementary.

The district originally requested about $500,000 to send 420 kids to summer school, but the grant program made a counter offer to serve 180 additional children.

Students from Clifton Elementary will be able to attend school between June 13 and July 21 at their building, but Clifton’s program will be funded through a different federal grant, the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. Mount Garfield Middle School also qualified for the 21st Century grant. Only Mount Garfield students will have access to middle-school-level summer classes this year in the district.

High school students will be able to finish some course work online this summer at computer labs at the four traditional District 51 high schools. That program will be funded by a McKinney-Vento grant the district has had for a few years. The district needs to use the remaining dollars from the grant this summer before the funding source, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, runs dry, according to District 51 Prevention Coordinator Cathy Haller.

Haller, who oversees summer education, said the high school programs likely will start soon after school lets out in May and end before June 30.

Summer education will consist of four 90-minute blocks between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday this year. One block will be for literacy; one will focus on math; another will focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and the fourth will center on art, music and physical education with some STEM education worked into the lesson.

Students are selected for summer learning based on who is the furthest from meeting state standards, Haller said.


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