Hamilton School District's 2012 Summer Opportunities Program received rave reviews on Monday from its coordinator Dick Ladd, who described a diligently orchestrated effort to open the school for classes this summer.
Ladd told board members during their regularly scheduled meeting that 2,065 students — 40 more than last summer — took 298 sections in disciplines and interests that ranged from Algebra and German to LEGO Robotics and Recycled Art.
"It was a very successful 2012 summer school program," Ladd told the board.
The most popular class was Speed, Agility and Strength, which had 315 students enrolled in it.
"I really firmly believe that that program promotes all sorts of things from responsibility and respect to better athleticism," Ladd said.
Classes were taught by 72 Hamilton School District teachers, 58 teachers from other districts, nine substitute teachers and 34 paraprofessionals. Four administrative assistants, 68 student teaching assistants and five assistant coordinators rounded out the professional staff who helped administer summer school.
"They are there every day and every hour, making it happen and I can't speak highly enough of that group," Ladd said.
Ladd also told the board that the summer school program had its share of curriculum and training successes as well. They included incorporation of a new Gateway to 5K curriculum, the training of Soar to Reading Success teachers in Reader's Workshop strategies and the training of Make Sense of Math teachers in Everyday Math strategies.
The summer school program is in the black by $78,713 after it took in $500,357 in revenue and incurred $421,644 in expenses over the year.
Ladd indicated that recommendations for the 2013 summer school program consist of:
- having off July 4-5, a Thursday-Friday;
- a concerted effort to enhance course offerings for academic support;
- continuing training of math and reading teachers.
Ladd, school officials and law enforcement authorities will continue to monitor the traffic around the school during summer school, he said.
"The setup we have currently with the way the parking lot is set is the safest route for our kids when they get out of a car," Ladd said.
Other recommendations for next year consist of exploring recovery credit make-up and credit acquisition opportunities and moving the Get Set for 4K and 4K Dramatic Play programs from Willow Springs Learning Center School to a location with air conditioning.
"We are very appreciative for this exemplary program," said Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, lauding Ladd for his and the staff's effort.