County summer school programs successful

By BETH PUDAS,

According to Debbie Davis, Simpson County School District Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, summer school course offerings proved effective based upon the retest scores of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) third grade reading gate test.

After analyzing the data of the initial April test with the scores received at the end of July, all three elementary schools had a successful completion rate of 88 percent or greater.

“Even if we only had one student pass on the retest that would have been one more student to pass, but we’re thankful we got it down to this number (19),” stated Davis.

Magee Elementary had 38 students not pass out of 116 tested in April. Following good cause exemptions and two retests, only 12 students will repeat third grade this year, leading to the 88 prcent success rate. Parents of four of those children intentionally re-enrolled their child in third grade.

Mendenhall Elementary tested 91 students, with 32 not passing. After good cause exemption and two retests, only five students did not pass, amounting to a 93 percent success rate. Similarly, Simpson Central tested 65 students. After good cause exemptions and retests only two will repeat the third grade, for a 97 percent success rate.

“We were pleased with this being the first year that we had to bump up to the higher level requirements. Of course, we’re not satisfied until we get 100 percent, but it was a learning curve for us as far as making sure that we were preparing the students adequately,” said Davis.

Six students participated in the Credit Recovery Program (CRP) offered through the Achievement Center to 7th through 12th graders who did not successfully complete course requirements necessary to graduate. All six successfully completed the required on line course and received their necessary high school credit.

Keys to the success rate of CRP include a small class size, teachers available one on one to assist students as necessary, and constant contact with parents.

“The students worked incredibly hard in this program. Also, kudos to the teachers who worked in this program. They kept in constant communication with the parents, letting them know every step of the way, ‘this is where your child is’,” Davis commented.

“Overall I would say our (summer school) programs were successful. It’s about each and every kid. We want them all to be successful. That’s our goal for next year,” Davis concluded.