County providing summer school slots

By BETH PUDAS,

A total of 64 Simpson County School District students, grades 3 through 12, are enrolled in one of the four different summer school programs offered this summer.

According to Debbie Davis, Deputy Superintendent/Curriculum and Instruction, three different educational programs are available through Simpson Central, Magee Elementary, Mendenhall Elementary and the Achievement Center this summer. Most of them began the first part of June and will run the entire month; however, Mendenhall Elementary 3rd graders began their class June 17 wrapping up June 21.

The Achievement Center offers a Credit Recovery Program (CRP) to 7th through 12th graders who did not successfully complete course requirements necessary for graduation. Edgenuity specializes in providing on-line courses to K-12 students, also making available the most course offerings. The Mississippi Department of Education must approve every course taken by students enrolled in the CRP. Seven students are currently in the CRP with each course tailored for the student enrolled. They work individually at their own pace, one student completing the course within seven days of beginning it.  While the course is completed online, onsite teachers are available for assistance. Students may only take one course per summer. Four graduation requirement classes are not permitted through the CRP: Biology I, English 2, US History and Algebra 1. The cost for each class is $150.

Magee Elementary and Mendenhall Elementary schools have classes for 3rd graders who did not pass the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) reading gate test. Proficiency at a level 3 is required on this test to move on to the 4th grade. The reading gate test is scored on a 1 to 5 basis. The Literacy Based Promotion Act passed in 2013 required students to achieve a level 2 for 4th grade promotion. In 2016 it was amended so that students taking the 3rd grade reading gate would have to attain level 3 during the 2018-2019 school year. Thirty-six 3rd graders are enrolled. Magee students will retest on June 28, Mendenhall students, June 24. Davis stated that funding is provided through Title 1 federal money, making the classes free to the students, unlike CRP.

Twenty-one K-5 students are enrolled at Simpson Central this summer to develop better reading and math skills.  Tier 1 students are academically stronger, requiring less hands on instruction. Tier 2 students are identified as those beginning to have difficulty mastering classroom skills and needing extra support. Students considered Tier 3 need more intensive study time in a specialized curriculum program.Tier 3 students are those from whom teachers do not see results while in Tier 2.   

These classes are free of charge as funding is provided through Title 1 federal money.

Magee Elementary, Mendenhall Elementary, and Simpson Central also offer special needs classes during the summer. All classes meet Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-12 noon.

Summer school is “a great opportunity for students to receive high quality instruction from excellent teachers at each location that will work with students individually and in small groups,” said Davis. “I’m very proud of our teachers and students. They are focused, working hard and trying their best.”