Summerschool session helps students retrieve credit

Published on Thu, Jun 29, 2006 by ack Kintner

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Summer school session helps students retrieve credit

By Jack Kintner

Many Blaine primary and elementary students who are failing in school are also failing to take advantage of the district’s summer school program, designed to help them catch up with their peers and advance with their class, according to Blaine’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment Deb Cummings.

Cummings gave a brief review of the three-week program which is directed at students who have demonstrated a need for extra academic support and some of whom are in danger of being held back.

But out of 150 students in kindergarten through the fifth grade that were recommended for the remedial classes by teachers, only 73 are enrolled.

Cummings attributed this to a lack of parental encouragement.
“Parents know that their child won’t be (held back) solely because they didn’t take advantage of this extra instruction,” Cummings said, “and it is summer, when school’s traditionally out, but it’s only for four half days a week for three weeks, with meals at the Boys and Girls club across the street.”

Transportation similar to that available during the regular school year is furnished and even the fees are on a sliding scale, said Cummings.
The program becomes mandatory in middle school, where students who did not pass one of their academic subjects are required to attend or repeat the class next year.

This summer there are 110 middle school students enrolled. In high school about half that many summer students are enrolled in either a credit retrieval program to shore up academic shortcomings or in a class for students who failed one or more parts of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test.

The board hired Jay Dodd of Prosser, Washington, as head football coach and Wayne Vezzetti as a teacher and athletic director. Both men are Blaine natives.

Current athletic director Gary Clausen has one more year left and will use it to orient Vezzetti to the post.

It was also Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington’s last Blaine school board meeting before her resignation becomes effective Friday, June 30.
Her successor, Ron Spanjer, begins the following day and is in town this week for transitional meetings. Derrington is moving on to a faculty position in the Woodring School of Education at Western Washington University, while Spanjer is coming to Blaine from several years as assistant superintendent in the Port Angeles school district.

In a special presentation, fifth grader Venna Spencer read her prize-winning short story to the board just before it adjourned. Spencer, 10, won honorable mention and got her story published in the winner’s booklet by Village Books of Bellingham that conducted the county-wide contest.

She finished in the top four for her grade level among over 800 entries. This school year she was in Mrs. Goering’s fourth grade class.The board meets next on Thursday, July 27, at 7 p.m.