Column: District 518 set for summer school programs
District offering ways to limit the 'summer slide'
WORTHINGTON — The 2020-2021 school year has been one crazy adventure. Believe it or not, we are down to the last three weeks of the year, so that means it is time to start talking about summer school.
Last year, due to the national pandemic, District 518 continued to provide the summer credit recovery courses for high school students via distance learning. The decision was made to cancel the EDGE summer school program for students in kindergarten to eighth grade, since we would not be able to host the courses in an in-person setting. It is the hope of District 518 to get our students back in the building this June.
You may have heard the phrases “summer learning loss” or “summer slide," and these refer to drops in test scores taken in May and then again in August. Some research estimates that there is about a 20% reduction in reading scores and about 30% in math scores for elementary students. This grows to as much as 40% in reading and 50% in math for middle school students. In District 518, we look to limit that “slide” by offering opportunities for students to continue working on reading and math skills into the summer months.
Prairie Elementary will have students who are entering kindergarten to fourth grade this summer. We are anticipating between 200 to 300 students taking part in this offering. Students will focus on math and reading, but will also have access to enrichment activities in art, music and physical education. The middle school will have approximately 200 students who are entering fifth through eighth grade. They, too, will be focusing on math and reading with different elective offerings.
Summer school also gives students the opportunity for some social interaction with friends, when normally they may be at home by themselves. The students will start their day at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast, if they so choose, and they will finish up shortly after lunch at 1:15 p.m. Classes at Prairie and the middle school will run from June 7 to June 25, Monday through Friday.
At the Learning Center, we will be offering credit recovery classes for students in grades 9-12. Distance learning really proved to be difficult for some of our students, and they will be able to make up credits for graduation by taking up to three different courses. The credit recovery class schedule is focused on the courses that the state of Minnesota requires for graduation. There are plenty of offerings in math, English, social studies and science. Typically, there are more than 100 students who enroll in credit recovery courses. Classes will start June 7 and run Monday through Friday through July 1.
District 518 is excited to offer these programs to our students once again. Students in grades K-8, in the summer EDGE program, have been referred by their teachers. Please check your students’ bags for registration forms and busing information during these final weeks of school. If you wish to have your student participate in the credit recovery program for grades 9-12, please contact their building office to inquire about possible enrollment. Let’s keep the learning rolling!
Doug Brands is Worthington ALC/VIBE Principal in District 518.