KCPS aims to prevent summer learning loss

By JOSHUA PHILLIPS
Northeast News
June 4, 2013

Students in Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) have been invited to attend free summer school programs to help those with the greatest academic needs to move forward.

Classes started Monday, June 3, and run through Friday, June 28, and are sponsored by the school district. Summer school for grades third through sixth are invited if they failed both communication arts and math, while students in grades seventh through 12th are invited to recover important academic credits to move to the next grade level.

Derald Davis, KCPS school leadership executive coach and head of the summer school programs, said these summer school programs can help prevent the learning losses during the summer.

“We are able to meet the individual needs of the students in the summer school,” Davis said. “A lot of districts made the decision that they cannot afford to have summer school; we made the decision that we cannot afford to not have summer school. Typically, there is some sort of learning loss that takes place (during the summer).”

KCPS summer schools are located at Gladstone, Wheatley and Paige elementary schools, each from 8:40 a.m. to 3:55 p.m., as well as locations at Central and Success academies from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Although the district offers free summer school programs to those with the greatest academic needs, KCPS has also partnered with KC Friends of Alvin Ailey, Upper Room, the YMCA, the Sixth Grade Summer Bridge Academy and with LINC to provide free camps for families wanting children in summer programs.

“Say you have a student who has As and Bs in all their core classes as a fourth grader, but parents still want them in summer school. We would tell them they do not qualify for our summer school program because we want to reserve seats for students who have the greatest needs,” Davis said. “However, here are some summer school camp opportunities you can still take your child to. First and foremost, all of this is designed for the students to be successful.”

In order to help students with their reading grade levels, the district has more than 30 UMKC student interns doing their practicum work alongside teachers to address comprehension and reading needs of the students. KCPS has also hired reading interventionists to assist students with reading difficulties.

“Us providing our summer school options meets the needs of the students and their families and that is our primary goal,” Davis said. “Also, through our (summer camp) parternships we want to meet the needs of families to have students engaged in literacy and math instruction even through the summer.”

Davis said these summer programs can help KCPS work toward accreditation by first laying down the foundation. No matter the cost, Davis said KCPS wants to offer opportunities to students to help them achieve academically.

“We do everything possible to make sure students are on grade level and that it will show up in our standardized test scores – (they are) a huge barometer as to whether or not we are moving the district forward. Definitely offering these opportunities will go toward that particular component of the re-accreditation process.”

Davis said he has high hopes for KCPS to move to state accreditation soon because of the promising test score returns from the high schools. If the scores are high enough, the district could receive provisional accreditation for next school year.

Summer Camp Schedules
The Upper Room summer camp will be located at Primitivo Garcia, George Melcher, Trailwoods and Garfield elementary schools, starting June 10 and ending August 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Upper Room is a reading-intensive course with enrichment activities and field trips.

The Alvin Ailey camp, located at the Paseo academy of fine and performing arts, will take place June 3 to June 28 at 7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. will teach students disciplined dance training, creative writing instruction, personal development and how to respect themselves and others.

The YMCA summer camp, located at Satchel Paige elementary, starting June 17 and ending July 26 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. will provide an enriched literacy experience to help sharpen reading and writing skills.

The Sixth Grade Summer Bridge Academy, located at Wheatley elementary, starting June 3 to June 21 from 8:40 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The LINC summer camp will be located at Holliday Montessori, Border Star Montessori, African-Centered College Preparatory Academy and Crispus Attucks elementary, from June 3 to July 12 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. will focus on academics, youth development and parent engagement.

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