Summer school remediation classes will be offered to middle school pupils this year for the first time in Richmond County.
Traditionally, the district has offered summer school for promotion only to high schoolers who have fallen behind. The opportunity for middle school is aimed at helping keep pupils on track and improve graduation rates down the line, according to Stacy Mabray, the district’s senior director of curriculum and instruction.
“We’re just trying to give parents and students an opportunity for a little academic redemption so they can stay with their class and continue to progress,” Mabray said.
The U.S. Department of Education required states to begin reporting graduation rates with a new calculation last year. The formula accounts for students who graduated on time in a four-year window, as opposed to the old Georgia formula that calculated how many students graduated from the senior class in a given year.
Educators have said the new method provides a more accurate picture of graduation rates and encourages school systems to get students a diploma within four years.
Mabray said extending summer school to middle school is part of the district’s effort to better prepare students for high school so they can improve academic achievement.
Students who have failed a grade can take up to two courses over the summer to keep from being held back.
Like the high school remediation, the summer school is tuition-based. Each course costs $250, but pupils who attend Title I schools can apply for financial assistance, Mabray said.
In addition to the credit recovery classes, the district offers several summer enrichment programs to various grades. They range from SAT or math help for high schoolers to a water-theme elementary camp.
“We’re just excited that we’re looking at ways we can help our students stay on track for graduation,” Mabray said.