Local News

Cumberland County to Drop Summer School Program

Posted December 11, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— You know the drill. If you don't make the grade during the regular school year, you have to go to summer school. Educators in Cumberland County say 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 schools like Reid Ross in Cumberland County is efficiency and a better learning environment for students.

Cumberland County has closed the book on summer school. The problem according to administrators is that the old, traditional method simply doesn't work.

"As it used to exist in the four-week program, students would learn remediation skills in isolation," says assistant superintendent Paris Jones. "They would have the summers, then most of those skills would be lost."

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

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

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

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

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 held back in at least one grade. The idea in Cumberland County is to work on the students being held back to help out the drop-out rate.

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