Summer schools are no longer a mandatory punishment for all failing students, but it might help your student in the long run.
It’s summertime, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put the books away in Manatee County.
For students in need, and even those who want to get a jump-start in academia, the classroom doors are open and the teachers are waiting.
East County third-graders who didn’t perform well on the standardized reading assessment, will find veteran teacher Susan Hageman holding class at Tara Elementary.
“You get to do good work with the kids who really need it,” said Hagerman, who has been teaching summer school for 25 years in Manatee County. “Of course, the extra pay helps.”
Hagerman is preparing her students for another run at the standardized test.
For middle and high school students, classes will be held at their assigned schools and offer a second chance to score credits for graduation through its credit recovery program.
“I have been teaching summer school since 1996,” Braden River High School credit recovery teacher Sharon Itts said. “The kids aren’t upset that they’re doing the recovery with us because they have the opportunity to do (the work) at home. If they want to have some adult supervision, they come to us.”
Students review the troublesome subject matter and, using the online Odysseyware system, test to see how they are progressing. Students who catch up academically during the summer can remain at their chosen schools. Those who do not must take special programs at Southeast High.
While summer school once was considered punishment for underachieving students, it feels a bit different in Manatee. Students can attend any of the summer programs voluntarily.
That holds true for teachers, as well. Itts, who runs the Braden River summer school program with Eric Sanders, said teachers are happy to help students wanting to boost their academic standing.
Most students, Braden River Assistant Principal Melissa Gagnon said, would rather be in an actual classroom with a teacher than taking courses virtually on a computer.
Lora Winston, who is teaching summer school Carlos E. Haile Middle School, said she often is working with some of the students she just taught during the school year.
“They’re coming from behind, and I have the opportunity to help them out,” Winston said.