School Board Calls Summer Program a Success

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This year, School District 51 took a new approach to summer school. It says the new extended learning program focuses on students who need the most help in school.

School Board officials say they were very happy with the results they saw at Monday night's meeting. Figures show the program helped students make positive gains in all their classes.

Officials say they started the program because several students in the county need more time than what the regular school year allows to fully learn everything.

They say students who were not meeting certain school standards were asked to participate.

The program gives students more personal attention from teachers in the subjects they struggled in the most.

About 2,000 students enrolled in the extended learning program for its first year. School officials say by the end of the summer, grades shot up in every single subject, but it's the student's new found confidence that means the most to them.

"That's what's so wonderful about the extended learning program," said Jeff Kirtwood of School District 51. "It provides that time for kids to say 'I can learn something' and to gain some of that confidence."

Officials say their main goal for next summer is to get more students involved in the program. They're also looking into extending it from six weeks to nine weeks.