BLOOMINGTON District 87's summer school program kept a good balance between class time and time for kids to be kids, one of its coordinators told the school board Wednesday evening.
Jim Cooper, Sheridan Elementary School's principal, was summer school coordinator for grades K-5 plus multi-level bi-lingual classes. Vickie Slagell, Stevenson Elementary School principal, coordinated junior high and special education classes.
Cooper said students were expected to work for more than 3 hours during the 20 days in session, but that gave plenty of time for riding bikes and other activities the rest of the day.
"It has been one of the loves of my career," Slagell said of summer school.
She said it was a positive trend that the number of junior high students needing summer classes has fallen. In previous years, seven teachers taught sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. This summer, only two teachers were needed she said, adding that grades six and seven were a combined class.
In order to meet summer school requirements, students had to attend 18 of the 20 days, exhibit good behavior and either show progress in work or achieve passing grades or marks, depending on grade level.
Bus service was provided for every student needing transportation. Attendance rates for K-5 and multi-level bi-lingual ranged from 85.6 percent to 93.3 percent, Cooper said in a report. Class sizes ranged from 12 in fifth grade to 42 in first grade.
In kindergarten, 22 of 32 students met standards; first grade, 33 of 42: second grade, 28 of 32; third grade, 19 of 23; fourth grade, 21 of 24; fifth grade, 11 of 12; sixth grade, seven of nine; seventh grade, 19 of 19; eighth grade, 11 of 11; multi-level bi-lingual, 16 of 21.
Also, primary transitional special education, seven of 10; primary instructional special education, two of four; primary special education, eight of eight; and intermediate special education, five of seven.
Speech and language therapy was provided for 26 students; 13 received physical therapy; and 17 had occupational therapy, Slagell said in her report.
Cooper said with all the renovations going on in district buildings, "we had a lot of people jumping through hoops" to accommodate summer school needs and he was grateful.
Board member Keith Davis said having good teachers at all levels is important, but quality grade-school teachers are especially crucial. "If kids fall behind, they can never catch up," he said.