Polk students raise test scores following summer school

Published 4:36 pm Monday, July 13, 2009

Many Polk County students raised their end-of-grade test scores to a proficient level following a few weeks of summer school, according to Polk County Schools Asst. Supt. Mary Margaret Ingle.

In a recent report to the Polk County school board, Ingle said it appears more than 50 percent of the more than 400 summer school students improved their scores after getting a chance to review courses during summer school.

Polk County Schools wasn&squo;t sure it could hold summer school this year. The district was unable to secure grant funding to maintain the summer school and extensive enrichment program it&squo;s offered in recent summers, and the district had funds frozen recently because of the state&squo;s budget crisis.

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&dquo;We kept wondering if we would have enough money (for summer school), but we finally decided to do it. Some other places did not,&dquo; said Ingle. &dquo;It ended up being a very positive thing. The test scores are wonderful.&dquo;

Ingle said the summer school teachers were very excited to have the additional time with the students to help them improve.

She also pointed out that summer school drew a large number of students this year and was a success even though the district lacked funds for transportation and couldn&squo;t offer lunch at Saluda and Sunny View schools. Even so she says students made it to school and brought their own lunches.

&dquo;We kind of stumbled into this, but we got great results,&dquo; said Ingle.

Polk County Schools Finance Officer Charlotte Sullivan added that the district did end up finding the money for summer school and it came in under budget.