Plans outlined for Douglas County summer school |

Plans outlined for Douglas County summer school

by Maggie Allen

The Douglas County School District is implementing a competency-based system that will ensure that students are competent in the basic skill areas of communications (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), foreign language, mathematics, science, social science, technology, and employability. Although the graduating class of 2002 will be the first graduating class to be held accountable for mastering these competencies, all students in the district must demonstrate progress toward this goal.

The district now has Achievement Level Tests (ALTs) which indicate where every student in the district stands in regard to competency. Many students are exactly where they should be. Many exceed expectations. However, some students need additional time and opportunity in order to succeed, so DCSD has increased summer offerings to assist these students. Recognizing that students attending summer school will have an impact on families and the community, the answers to the following questions may be helpful.

n What summer classes has DCSD offered before? Prior to the summer of 2000, most summer school classes were offered for credit retrieval. Students who had failed a class could take summer school and make up that credit. A few classes were offered, as electives, such as weight training or for credit, such as government. Students paid tuition to attend these classes. Classes were offered only in the Valley. No summer instruction was offered to elementary students.

n How will summer school change? All 7th-12th grade students whose ALT test scores (in reading or math) fall two grade levels below expectations in reading, language or math will be invited to attend summer school. Classes will be offered in these subjects and class sizes will be small so that students can receive the individualized attention they need. In addition, summer reading camps will be offered at the Lake for those elementary students in grades 3-6 who need extra time and attention in reading. Summer school will be held at the Lake and in the Valley. Reading camps will also be held at the Lake. Valley reading camps were held in November, January, February, March and April to accommodate the year-round schedules.

n Where will summer sessions be held? In the Valley, 9th through 12th grades will be located at Douglas High School and 7th and 8th grades will be at Carson Valley Middle School. Summer school at the Lake will be held at George Whittell High School for grades 7-12. Zephyr Cove Elementary and Kingsbury Middle School will conduct the reading camps at the Lake.

n What are the dates for summer school and reading camps? Both at the Lake and in the Valley, summer school will begin on June 19 and end on July 28. The 4th of July will be the only holiday observed. The dates for the Lake reading camps are June 19-30 for 3rd and 4th grade students and Aug. 7-18 for 5th and 6th grade students.

n What time will summer school and reading camp take place? Summer school will take place Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Reading camp hours are 9 a.m. to noon.

n What is the attendance rule for summer school? A student who is absent more than three times during the 6-week summer school period can be dropped from the program.

n How much will it cost students to attend summer school? Students who are attending summer school for credit retrieval will pay $120 for the 6-week session. Students who have been invited to attend summer school to help them improve their ALT scores will attend free of charge. This part of summer school is being funded by a state grant, which is being administered by the district.

n Will transportation be provided for summer school and reading camp students? School bus transportation will be provided for students at no cost.

n What training will summer school teachers receive? The professional development center will offer training in reading strategies for secondary students, block schedule teaching techniques and classroom discipline to name a few. Time will be provided for teachers to look a their students’ ALT scores and plan their instruction so that students receive the individual attention in the areas in which they need the most help.

Guided by its mission statement, “The Douglas County School District, in partnership with parents and community, will ensure that all students are competent in the basic skill areas and are prepared to be productive, responsible citizens,” the district is providing every opportunity for students to receive the extra assistance they may need today to become the effective citizens of Douglas County tomorrow.

For more information, contact school administrators or Maggie Allen, communications coordinator, DCSD at 782-5134.