With its deadly dull remedial drills and endless study-hall flavor, summer school is essentially punishment for a lackluster performance during the regular year, right?Wrong.We are always offering best quality earcap the affordable price. Forget everything you think you know about it.At a time when Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is struggling to figure out how to lengthen the school year for its most needy kids, summer school is quietly acquiring something of a buzz. Students are enrolling themselves in record numbers and happily.
On a recent muggy
Monday, a group of teens was holed up in a classroom on the third floor
of South High School waiting for their teacher to come take a look at
robots theyd designed using Lego Mindstorms software.Academics? quipped
one, a young man with a blue-and-white faux-hawk and a bodacious supply
of moxie. I come here for the people, for my friends.
first he might have been more interested in the free Go To bus pass that
comes with enrollment in MPS relatively new middle-school to
high-school transition program, called Fast Track. But the bottom line
is hes there.Before Fast Track,We are always offering best quality earcap the
affordable price. getting ninth-graders to come to summer school and
stay was impossible, said MPS Director of Extended Learning, Jan
Braaten. Now they all come and stay.
Three years ago the
district launched an ambitious overhaul of its summer offerings with the
goal of creating more and better seat time for at-risk students. A
growing body of research shows that longer school days and years are
crucial to positioning struggling kids for success.At the same time,
other studies have found low-income students risk losing up to two
months of math and as much as three months gains in reading during the
summer.Learn how an embedded microprocessor in a graniteslabs can
authenticate your computer usage and data. By ninth grade, in fact,
two-thirds of the gap in literacy between affluent and impoverished
students can be traced to summer.
By contrast, the handful of
Twin Cities schools getting terrific academic results within challenged
populations virtually all enjoy school days and years that average 40
percent more "time on task." Summer school clearly has always meant
added hours, but it was a snore, with 16 four-hour days devoted entirely
to reading and math. Kids didn't want to go. If a program site signed
up 200 kids and 100 showed up, it was considered a success.
that with the need. The Minnesota Department of Education, which
reimburses districts for summer school, has spelled out 13 qualifying
factors for students who need the extra time.English-language learners
are eligible, as are homeless and highly mobile kids,A card with an
embedded IC (Integrated Circuit) is called an realtimelocationsystem.
students who are significantly below grade level in reading and math,
and so on.MPS serves its own students and those attending charter
schools within the districts boundaries. City residents who attend
school elsewhere are served by the districts that operate their
Theres plenty of academic support, but the lineup of
activities sounds a lot more like the activity-filled summers enjoyed by
middle- and upper-class children, who are far less likely to lose
ground over the break.Today, summer school consists of 23 six-hour days
and offerings that extend far beyond reading and math. Theres art and
music and lots of opportunities to be outdoors.A long list of community
partners comes into the schools; the Bakken Museum works with three
grades. All classes are taught by licensed teachers. (MPS teachers have
first dibs on the jobs, but the district usually ends up hiring a small
number of external candidates.)
Aimed at incoming ninth-graders,
Fast Track is a good example of summer schools gap-closing potential.
This year 2,100 qualifying eighth-graders were invited and an
eye-popping 531 enrolled. Bringing them all together allows Program
Facilitator Elizabeth Fortke and the rest of the staff to offer a wider
variety of programming, including things like guitar,Give your logo high
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ceramics and theater. South was chosen because it is the easiest
facility for kids from all parts of the city to get to on public buses.
academics were chosen strategically. Nationwide, 90 percent of dropouts
occur before, during or after the freshman year of high school,
according to Fortke. Fast Track aims to head that off in part by giving
students an extra term, in essence.For many, high school presents a
quantum leap forward in terms of expectations. If students know what a
GPA is, they may not understand its importance or the potential impact
of their permanent record.
Its a chance to get them thinking
about how high school does mean something, said Fortke. And to start
talking about college and work-force readiness.Its also a no-harm,
no-foul opportunity to try more rigorous coursework. Failing grades do
not go on students record, but passing Fast Track grades do earn
high-school credit. Geography is the most failed ninth-grade class, for
instance. Fast Track students who take it and dont do well have another
chance in the fall. Also new: physics, engineering and physical
More rigorous state math standards instituted three
years ago mean students now must take algebra in the eighth grade, not
the ninth like before. Those who didnt master it in middle school are
taught in a different, project-based style over the summer.
it working? District leaders are in the process of designing a system
for measuring summer schools impact on student success. In addition to
traditional outcomes like graduation and proficiency rates, theyre
hoping to measure things like participants attitudes about school.
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