Summer sessions are past for some

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Summer school has all but been eliminated for Richmond County children in elementary and middle school.

Starting this year, third-, fifth- and eighth-graders who fail the required portions of Georgia's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests will no longer be going to summer school for remediation, the school board voted Tuesday night.

Instead, these pupils will get the needed remediation immediately after the school learns the results of the CRCT in the spring. They will then take the CRCT retest at the end of May, a week after school ends.

"The big thing is the kids are there," Executive Director for Middle Schools Virginia Bradshaw said of the new remediation schedule.

Typically, many of the pupils in need of remediation don't attend summer school, Dr. Bradshaw said. By offering the remediation as part of the regular school year, parents won't need to arrange special transportation and more pupils will receive the additional instruction.

The new approach also has the benefit of keeping children at their regular schools, she said. During summer school, children are clumped together by clusters of schools and they are taught by summer school teachers, not necessarily the teachers who have worked with them for 180 days during the year.

The academic material will also be fresh in the minds of the pupils with the new schedule, Director of Student Services Carol Rountree said.

"The state offered that as an option, and I think a lot of districts are going for that," Dr. Rountree said.

The Georgia Department of Education moved up the window for CRCT retesting this year, spokesman Dana Tofig said. This change allows school systems the flexibility to retest pupils before school lets out for the summer.

In Georgia, children must pass the reading portion of the third-grade CRCT and the reading and math portions of the fifth- and eighth-grade CRCT in order to advance to the next grade.

Dr. Rountree said the changes with summer school give pupils added motivation to perform well during the school year to avoid being held back.

Pupils who pass the CRCT will begin work on the next grade, Dr. Bradshaw said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The Richmond County school board approved:

- Selling the Martha Lester School to Augusta Capital Inc. for $241,000 and rejecting the bid by Augusta Wood Preserving Inc. to purchase the old Hornsby Elementary School for $200,000, which is $100,000 less than its appraised value

- Allowing Lake Forest Hills Elementary School to pursue the Primary Years Programme, the elementary school version of the International Baccalaureate Programme

- Establishing an Arts Infusion pilot program at Warren Road Elementary School

AWARD: Also at the meeting, Science Coordinator Stacey Mabray was surprised with the announcement that she was named the Robert Alexander Administrator of the Year by the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

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Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 02/18/09 - 07:36 am
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When will GA taxpayers demand

When will GA taxpayers demand that our kids l/earn their way to their respective succeeding grade levels?

gvoicinganopinion
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gvoicinganopinion 02/18/09 - 10:32 am
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I think this is a good

I think this is a good idea.
And as for when will GA Tax payers demand our kids learn their way to the respective succeeding grade level- talk to your kids about that. The teachers are teaching the material. Have you looked at the stuff these children are learning today. It keeps getting tougher. The problem is there are a lot of children who don't apply themselves. And a lot of parents who don't make sure their children apply themselves and do their best. We as parents have a job to do also. The majority of our teachers do a wonderful job. Let us parents do a good job also.

DMac_357
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DMac_357 02/18/09 - 11:13 am
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I think this new way is going

I think this new way is going to be better. If these children don't perform to the correct level, they will immediately be given remediation and if that isn't successful, they will have to repeat the grade. I believe that is learning their way to the succeeding grade level. Most other states are still doing summer school but with all the other budget shortfalls, those states might have to make changes just like RCBOE.

gvoicinganopinion
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gvoicinganopinion 02/18/09 - 11:33 am
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I agree. The chidlren should

I agree. The chidlren should do a better job if they have their results right away- and then the help they need to catch up on whatever they are lacking in so hopefully they will be able to pass it. This appears to be a good decision made by RCBOE.

amazedbywhatiread
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amazedbywhatiread 02/18/09 - 11:43 am
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The really sad part of this

The really sad part of this is that for years administration has been allowing students to pass based on completion of summer school. So basically the students were learning you could goof off for 180 days then go to summer school for a couple of weeks and still pass. What is even more frustrating is while they were goofing off the 180 days during regular instruction some poor motivated child was not getting the education they deserve. Teachers sometimes spend half the class period dealing with behavior problems caused by these summer school dependant children. They learn the system really fast. Do nothing and goof off equals summer school and promotion to the next grade.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 02/18/09 - 11:53 am
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(S)coobysnews, yours are

(S)coobysnews, yours are valuable insights. Have any of the educratic apologists for lack of academic achievement among many of our kids thought-out the consequences for our children and other members of our society of our kids' deficits in Reading, Math and Science? Will businesses bring high-paying jobs to an area where the population is highly knowledgeable and skilled or to one wherein the people's knowledge and skills are limited? Everybody knows the answer to that question.

142
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Dan White 02/18/09 - 12:11 pm
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The CRCT is irrelevant in

The CRCT is irrelevant in Richmond County. If a kid falls two grade levels behind, they get socially promoted anyway. What a waste of money the CRCT is along with the tutoring. The CRCT is meaningless when it comes to moving on to the next grade.

142
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Dan White 02/18/09 - 12:15 pm
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The threat to "repeat the

The threat to "repeat the grade" is meaningless to these kids. Threats are not going to motivate, change their apathetic attiitude to learning, or make them bring their books, pen, and paper to class. Some of these kids can't be saved and may wake up in the adult world, in jail, or take on jobs that illegal immigrants now take.

concercitizen
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concercitizen 02/18/09 - 12:25 pm
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The real problem is the

The real problem is the student. If one really wants to learn the course material, then one will put out whatever effort necessary to do so.

disssman
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disssman 02/18/09 - 02:06 pm
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Just remember that teachers

Just remember that teachers are not necessarily experts in a given subject area. They are experts in the methods of teaching school. Given this, when was the last time a teacher was fired or removed for incompetance? Answer - never. Now what does that tell us about our syatem, either every teacher is perfect or we reward incompetance. Sad situation because the teachers that couldn't teach during the year, will now have the responsibility of doing so in overtime.

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