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Summer School Focus: Reading

Tests This Month Will Determine Which K-3 Students Must Attend 14-Day Session

May 11, 2007
By ROBERT A. FRAHM, Courant Staff Writer

Parents of Hartford schoolchildren in kindergarten through third grade will be notified later this month whether their children will be required to attend summer school.

The city's school system is making the summer classes mandatory for struggling readers. Under a new state law, school districts are required to offer summer classes to students who are substantially below grade level.

In Hartford, all students below grade level will be enrolled in the classes, based on their scores on a reading test given this month.

Unlike previous summer sessions, this summer's will not include classes for students in grades 4-8. "We decided to really focus our resources on the foundation, which is the younger grades," said LaVerne Terry, the school system's deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The 14-day summer session will offer three hours a day of concentrated instruction.

Just 15 percent of Hartford's third-graders met the state goal on the reading portion of last year's Connecticut Mastery Test, the lowest proportion of any school system in the state.

The summer classes will be held from 8 to 11:15 a.m. Monday through Friday starting July 2. Lunch will be provided. Most students will attend their regular school, and most schools also will offer voluntary afternoon activities.

Although there will be no summer classes for students in grades 4-8, school officials said the city's youth services division, with help from several community organizations, is developing a program of activities for those children.

The school system will continue its regular summer program of makeup classes for high school students who failed courses during the school year.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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