Summer school a crash course in catching up

Carson City School District administration building.

Carson City School District administration building.

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The summer school program, for Carson City School District, is a burst of education beginning as soon as the school year ends.

Teachers only have a few weeks to teach skills students didn’t master.

Students only have a few weeks to make up what they didn’t complete.

Between June 8 and 30, CCSD had 434 students enrolled in summer school; 25 students were removed due to attendance.

“We will have over 400 kids that should have finished at least one summer school class (by June 30),” said Shauna Wooldridge, Carson High School teacher on special assignment and intervention specialist. “But there will be some that will have finished six classes.”

The school district counted 305 high school students and 129 middle schoolers. Wooldridge said CCSD was expecting 60 middle school students.

It also overshadows 2022’s numbers when the district had 19 eighth graders enrolled. Wooldridge said there was larger cohort of seventh graders, many of whom “did not do super well last year,” she said.

“They were not passing the classes in summer school, and so that group of seventh graders are here with us as eighth graders,” she said. “The eighth graders, luckily, that we’ve had are figuring out that they do, in fact, need to pass these classes in order to promote to ninth grade.”

This summer, there are 38 eighth graders going on to high school, so as the district finishes up with this older cohort, it has been focusing on its seventh graders.

“We can hopefully get them through so they’re in a better spot,” she said.

Teachers help students focus on their English classes first and then math, but students struggle to complete their health, science and computer science credits throughout their school year. Wooldridge said it’s a wide range of classes, and the district has had 13 high school and five middle school teachers helping students get on track.

“Our middle school numbers have been so high, we’re utilizing our high school teachers that have the right certifications,” she said. “It was a surprise to us that our middle school numbers were that high. It has been a challenge.”

One problem is student apathy, as Eagle Valley Middle School Principal Lee Conley addressed during the spring semester. District officials continue to see a pattern with at least some students.

“There were kids sitting in a classroom for days doing nothing,” Wooldridge said. “We’re talking to them. The teachers are talking to them. We’re calling parents. Of the nine (students) we’ve removed in that boat, I would say five of them had done zero progress … and nothing was going to get them to make any progress.”

She referred to at least two females who had struggled academically for at least two years.

“It was hard to keep them here,” she said. “Last year, they did great, but they were just blowing it off. But they’re getting it now. They’re passing five or six classes to get to where they should be.

“But once we get those celebrations done, it’s like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t want to be here anymore. I need to be done.’ … And I am having conversations with kids on that. They are telling me they’re going to do better next year. The families are telling me they appreciate that.”

Wooldridge said eventually most students learn to take their studies seriously once they see their friends eager to finish and leave the program. The district is at an 80% completion rate and Wooldridge said she expected to be over 90% by June 30.

 “We’ve got great teachers and a quiet calm atmosphere that allows kids to pass the classes that they weren’t able to do the first time,” she said. “So I like to get in as many kids as we can.”


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