BRISTOL - Secondary Summer School was a success, despite some students vaping in the boysâ€™ bathroom and outside, and others whose attendance was poor ducing the school year not attending summer school, either.
Those were among the conclusions reached in a report on the summer session by Secondary Summer School Director Steven Gaudet.
Carly Fortin, director of the school districtâ€™s Office of Teaching and Learning, delivered the report to the Board of Education recently.
The report noted that the structure of the middle school summer program was revamped for 2018, to allow students to complete their social studies and science courses through the Edgenuity online program, under the guidance of technology teacher Gerard Plourde.
Edgenuityâ€™s online program was already in use for senior English and civics classes. Gaudet recommended increasing the classes offered online.
â€śThe second change was that we added a special education teacher, Alasia Griebel, to help plan with the core teachers and guide our students who needed extra help in middle school language arts and math,â€ť the report said.
â€śIn the high school program, we replaced three teachers from the previous year and all three turned out to be outstanding additions to our staff. Another success was the number of students that took advantage of only having to take a semester course, opposed to taking full year, increased dramatically,â€ť it continued.
Fortin also said the summer school program had hosted nine education interns from Central Connecticut State University, â€śwho provided valuable assistance, working with our students while learning from our academic professionals.â€ť
In his report, Gaudet said, â€śBoth CCSU and I feel that this program was a tremendous success and recommend its continuance next summer.â€ť
â€śThe combination of experienced teaching professionals and increased academic rigor allowed the program to continue to be a model for the state,â€ť Gaudet wrote.
â€śAlso, with the number of Bristol students attending summer school declining over the years, I also believe that we should investigate possibly adding sections for Spanish 1 and Spanish 2,â€ť he said. â€śThis may attract more students that need to take Spanish and that will hopefully lead to them taking another course that they might not have originally registered for.â€ť
Fortin told the board â€ś42 students took 71 courses through the middle school summer program. When compared with data from the 2017 summer, we had the same number of students this year however we had students requiring fewer courses this summer than those in 2017.â€ť
â€śAt the high school level, 149 students took 212 courses,â€ť she said. â€śThese numbers are 24 and 28 percent lower than the numbers from the previous year. As our high schools engage in more strategies to ensure that students are on track towards graduation, earning 5.5 credits in their freshman year, we are seeing fewer students who require summer school.â€ť
â€śThe number of students and courses needed in 2018 was the lowest we have seen in the past four years,â€ť she added.
Gaudet pointed out that students using e-cigarettes in the boysâ€™ bathroom and outside on the school grounds at Bristol Central High School, where Secondary Summer School was held, â€ścaused many distractions throughout the summer.â€ť
He credited Youth Officer M.J. Warner, secretary Sheryl Elliott, and outreach worker Steve Elliott for helping the program to run smoothly.
Even so, â€śthere are always improvements that can be made,â€ť Gaudet wrote. â€śOur biggest concern involves the large number of students with habitual attendance issues during the regular school year who are not attending summer school either. We need to work with guidance counselors to entice these students to attend summer school, even possibly pre-enrolling the students before the regular school year is over.â€ť
â€śWith the summer school curriculum being condensed into five weeks, it is imperative that these students realize they might be more successful attending summer school than they would be during the regular school year,â€ť he wrote. â€śFinally, once again I feel we need to look at the possibility of providing some sort of transportation for students attending summer school in Bristol.â€ť