Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
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Summer school is in session


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— Summer school is in session, from Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten through high school “credit recovery” classes, with hundreds of students attending various summer school programs and nearly every district school hosting one or more programs.

The School Board of Highlands County’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program started Monday with 48 students at the Kindergarten Learning Center and Lake Placid and Sun ‘N Lake elementary schools. The summer VPK, which is free for 4 year-olds, is a day-long program, 7:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., as opposed to the half-day school-year program that is offered by private providers.

Last year the school district served 57 students in its summer VPK program.

The 39-day program will conclude on Aug. 1.

The district’s Migrant Enrichment Summer Program, which starts today, has grown over the past two years with more grade levels.

Two years ago, it served students in grades one and two. Last year, kindergarten and grades four and five were added.

This summer third-grade was added, making it a K-5 program at Lake Placid, Sun ‘N Lake and Woodlawn Elementary schools.

Federal Programs Resource Teacher Debbie Wood estimates that about 325 students will be served in the migrant summer program. Last year the program served about 240.

“We were afraid last year when we added the kindergarten and fourth- and fifth-grades that, maybe, we would be competing with the third-grade reading camp,” she said. “But, a lot of our children did very well in third-grade and so we wanted to make sure they would be able to go to a reading camp. So that is why we opened up third-grade this year.”

The Third-Grade Summer Reading Camp is primarily for students who scored in Level 1 on the Reading FCAT.

The migrant program focuses on improving reading skills with a goal of minimizing learning losses over the summer, Wood said.

“They read a lot, between two and a half and three hours a day,” she said. “We test them on fluency and comprehension so we work on those kind of things.”

Also, “each year has a different subject area ... we are trying to broaden their horizons,” Wood noted.

In addition to the reading instruction, the following topics will be covered: kindergarten - animals, first-grade - hometown (library, fire station, services, etc), second-grade - Egypt, third-grade - Rome, fourth-grade - Greece and fifth-grade - Africa.

The Third-Grade Summer Reading Camp starts today with a total of 145 students at Lake Placid, Sun ‘N Lake and Woodlawn elementary schools.

Both the migrant and reading camp programs will operate for 24 days, 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., and conclude on July 17.

The district’s three high schools will have an EOC Camp for Algebra I to help students who did not pass the end-of-course Algebra I exam. The camp will operate weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., from July 7 through July 25.

Driver’s Education will be offered at the three high schools from June 10 through Aug. 1. The district’s Summer School Program Guide notes that students will not earn high school credit and will pay a fee for this course.

Extended school year service for Exceptional Student Education students will be offered at Lake Placid, Fred Wild and Memorial elementary schools; Sebring Middle, Lake Placid and Sebring high schools; Highlands Academy; Ridge Area ARC and Visions ADT.

District Student Support Services Director Pat Landress said the extended school year program starts June 16 and offers “educational experiences” in June with a break followed by another session in July.

The program’s goal is to keep students from losing or regressing in skills, she said.

The High School Summer School (Credit Recovery) will be held June 10 - June 24 at Sebring High School for graduating students only.

Middle School Summer School (Credit Recovery) will be held June 10 - June 27 at Sebring High School.

Also, all three high schools have summer swim programs, recreational and instructional, at various times.

The Kindergarten Learning Center and nearly all of the elementary schools (except Lake Country) are offering child daycare services.

For more information and contact phone numbers, check the School Board of Highlands County’s Summer School Program Guide at http://www.highlands.k12.fl.us/sbhc/.

mvalero@highlandstoday.com

(863) 386-5826

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