Polk County summer school begins Thursday, continues through June 26

Published 5:33 pm Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer school is scheduled to begin in Polk County on Thursday, a day after the regular school year ends today.

Polk County Schools switched this year from offering a consolidated summer school program at the middle school to holding one at each school.

The summer school is also significantly scaled back. After offering a broad range of enrichment opportunities in a 21st Century Builders program during recent summers, the school district this year is offering just 12 days of summer school for students performing below grade level.

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The school district was unable to obtain grant funding to continue the Builders Club this year due to the econonmy. The county is seeking a new grant for the summer and afterschool programs next school year.

Polk County Schools Supt. Bill Miller emphasizes that summer school should not be considered a &uot;punishment.&uot; Instead, he says, it&39;s an opportunity for students to review material and potentially improve on end-of-grade tests. &uot;We&39;re not saying, &39;You must do this or we&39;ll hold you back,&39;&uot; said Miller.

Asst. Supt. Mary Margaret Ingle says teachers are excited to get focused time with the students and help them improve.

She says summer school will be held for four hours a day. It will begin Thursday at the elementary schools, next Monday at the high school and next Tuesday at the middle school. This year&39;s summer schedule is only about half what it has been, she says.