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Cumberland County to Drop Summer School Program

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At first, only 3-8th graders will be exempt from summer school.
FAYETTEVILLE — You know the drill. If you don't make the grade during the regular schoolyear, you have to go to summer school. Educators in Cumberland Countysay summer school isn't working, so they're getting rid of the program.

There is a certain stigma attached to kids who attend summer school.There's also a certain cost. The lesson they hope to teach at schoolslike Reid Ross in Cumberland County is efficiency and a better learningenvironment for students.

Cumberland County has closed the book on summer school. The problemaccording to administrators is that the old, traditional method simplydoesn't work.

"As it used to exist in the four-week program, students would learnremediation skills in isolation," says assistant superintendent ParisJones. "They would have the summers, then most of those skills would belost."

The new idea is to help troubled students during their normal school year,be it traditional or year-round. Referred to as remediation, studentswould receive targeted help during elective periods or after school.

In a potential A+ for the school system, the $1.8 million dollars budgetedfor summer school now goes into the overall school budget. Some parentslike the idea.

Parent Denise Lucas says she'll buy into the idea completely of eliminateseparate summer schools. That way, the money can goe into other suppliesand things like computers.

"Students can be tutored in those weak areas, take those skills and goback into the classroom and apply those skills," Jones says. "You know aswell as I do that the more you practice a skill, the better you become atit."

The drop-out rate is a problem in schools all across the country.Statistics show that most students who drop out of school have been heldback in at least one grade. The idea in Cumberland County is to work onthe students being held back to help out the drop-out rate.

The "experiment," as administrators are calling it, will only be conductedin grades 3-8. They'll try to expand the program as it proves successful.

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