Both the Carson City School District and the Nevada State Department of Education officials say Carson’s summer English Language Learner program was an overwhelming success.
The program was funded through Nevada’s Read by Grade 3 Act, part of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s expanded education reform program approved by the 2015 Legislature.
The 16-day program was held in June and served a total of 438 students in kindergarten through third grade.
“Research shows that our ELL students need more time,” said Cheryl Richetta, the language arts specialist who coordinated the program. “This program included all elements of literacy — reading, writing, listening and speaking.”
The $400,000 grant covered the costs of the summer school program including not only staff, curriculum and materials but transportation and breakfast for the students. It was designed by Carson ELL program director Laura Austin. It was aimed at ELL students because while 60 percent of K-3 students meet grade level requirements, only 45 percent of ELL students do so.
“The results of the students who participated in this program demonstrated an impressive increase in their scores,” according to Richetta.
Kindergartners increased scores on a key word test by 90 percent while first graders raised their reading scores by 75 percent.
Second graders increased their grammar test scores by 79 percent and third graders their grammar scores by 75 percent.
“Richetta said not only did students benefit, “we received overwhelming positive feedback from our teachers who participated in the program.”