Southampton County Schools finalize summer school plans

Published 11:07 am Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Southampton County Public School Board unanimously approved the schedule for summer school at Monday evening’s meeting. Those attending the extra session will notice several changes, including the return to a four-day school week.

The courses will be at Riverdale Elementary and Southampton Middle and High schools from June 22 through July 16. The elementary and middle school students will be in class from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, while the high school will have two different options. Children in the College and Career Ready Program will attend class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If repeating a class, they will be placed in the 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. block, depending on his or her specific needs.

Registration for summer school will be June 16 through June 18 at the school in which the student would be attending.

“We are extremely excited about adding kindergarten, first and second grade this year, and this new initiative that we are doing to focus on early literacy,” said reading coach Kelli Gillette. “Research shows — and we believe — that early literacy is the foundation to a solid beginning for students.”

The elementary school will concentrate on “Read Around the World,” a project that exposes students to different genres and cultures, and focuses on reading awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency.

“We are looking forward to having the students afforded these opportunities,” she said, referencing the impromptu speech given by a member of SkillsUSA. “That’s why we’re all here: to make a difference.”

Riverdale will offer classes for the third, fourth and fifth grades, as well, focusing on project-based learning. The students will be immersed in SOL preparation, integrating math, reading and writing.

“The students will work in teams to cooperatively present projects, be engaged and have a sense of individuality,” Gillette said.

The district had added an eighth-grade class this year, thanks to the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

“They’ll also be doing project-based learning, including STEM classes such as scientific methods, technology and engineering,” she said. “We’re extremely excited about giving students this opportunity.”

More than 60 fifth- to eighth-grade students in the Summer Quest STEM Enrichment Program will build a hydraulic arm and set it in motion.

“This will help with their critical thinking and problem-solving skills,” Gillette said.

The program will then culminate with an expo on July 16, giving the students a chance to show off their work to their parents and other members of the community.

The high school, meanwhile, will offer both new and remedial classes. New course offerings include English 12, Spanish 1, Language Arts 4, Ecology 2, Physical Education, Health and Economics and Personal Finance. Repeat classes include English 9, 10, 11 and 12, Government, Algebra 1 and 1B, Geometry, Earth Science and Biology.

“[These are] programs to offer success for students who may not have necessarily failed a class, but need help to reach the next level,” said Assistant Principal Aronda Bell.