RC summer school enrollment down

Summer school is designed to benefit students to enhance their math and reading skills before the school year starts.
For Rush City students, summer school will be Aug. 1-18. At the Rush City School Board meeting May 18, Superintendent Teresa Dupre announced only 58 students are registered for summer school this year, while last year 110 students attended.
“The district sent out invitations and prioritized the students,” Dupre said. “Anybody who is having challenges in school were invited, and we have sent out three follow-up letters. Some teachers even called parents.”
Board Chairperson Stefanie Folkema suggested maybe the board should rethink the dates of summer school.
“As a parent, there is so much going on in June and July, so in August, we need to have some sort of ‘not running around’ before school starts,” she said.
In previous years, the district offered summer school from mid-July through mid-August, four days a week for four weeks, and now it runs five days a week, for three weeks.
“When we push it earlier in the summer, the feedback we get from parents is that they have vacations planned, they’re trying to get their kids involved in summer rec., also that they are involved with other events,” sixth-grade teacher Mary Kurvers said. “We don’t want them to have to choose. We want them to be involved in the other programs. From the school perspective, August has less going on.”
Dupre suggested they could possibly look at doing summer school in June.
“Part of the reason to extend the school year is to present what’s called regression and recruitment,” she said. “So, if you go right after school is out and you still have all of July and August, that gap will be more noticeable than if you bring kids back in August. The other reason we moved it is that there are no full-time administrators working in July.”
C.E. Jacobson Elementary Principal Jason Mielke said, “The one thing you run into at the elementary school is they are cleaning the floor and other things, so the building is pretty much a disaster area until around July Fourth.”
The summer school program is free, and transportation and food are provided for the students.
According to Kurvers, students in grades K-1 have the highest turnout for summer school. However, this year, there are only three kindergartners enrolled, when there are usually 15 students.
“The older kids get, the less likely they are to attend summer school — after fifth grade, attendance drops down dramatically,” Kurvers said. “As far as this year’s enrollment being down, I can honestly say, it was not due to a lack of effort.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *