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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What happened to summer school??

I have never really had any desire to teach summer school. By the time the last day of school rolls around, I am VERY ready for a chance to relax and recharge the batteries. I especially don't like my school system's hours (8-3) or the fact that there is NO break during the day. No specials, and you eat lunch with the kids. So no thank you.

But that is not what this post is about. Rather, it's about the kids who are going to summer school.

The first couple of years I taught, we would make recommendations for summer school kids at the end of the year. This list would include kids who did not pass the TAKS tests (reading AND math), but it would also include kids who had really struggled and/or just barely passed those tests.

However, for the past couple of years, all that has changed. Now the only kids who we can send to summer school are kids who failed the reading TAKS. Now keep in mind that I am only speaking about 3rd grade here; I'm not sure how it is with middle school or high school. But there were several kids this year who either failed the math test but passed reading, OR hit the pass mark exactly on the nose, OR would just plain benefit from some extra schooling in general! And they aren't going to summer school!

Sure, we are told that these kids could maybe go, if we can provide extensive documentation on why they should be admitted into summer school. And maybe the reason I don't write said extensive documentation on these kids is that I'm lazy, OR maybe the reason is that I was handed the permission slips for summer school and told that they needed to be signed by the parents and returned THE NEXT DAY.

At any rate, there were 6 3rd graders from my school submitted for summer school this year. In my mind, there should have been about 30, but what do I know, I'm just a teacher...


Columbia Lily said...

i feel ya. i went to an iep meeting today and as the parent was telling me how i should teach, i thought about how i spend twice as much time with her son as she does.

Val said...

I teach 8th ELA and my summer school is 7 students who did not pass TAKs and one student who failed for the year. He is the conundrum-I had other students who failed, and a couple with 30+ days missed, and yet this is the only student in summer school. IDK?
I'm NOT very happy with my districts summer school (lack of) planning.

HappyChyck said...

You make a good point about the students who could benefit from some extra instruction. Perhaps allowing them to go one year would prevent them being required to go the next. It's all about the testing, though...