While the summer is six months away for Floyd County Schools, the board of education began discussing the role of summer school in boosting students’ grades.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on a lot of students’ grades in the school system.

“Regardless of how many advantages they have, how smart they are, what disadvantages they have — they are not where they need to be, just because of the state of global affairs,” Assistant Superintendent John Parker said. “It’s going to take some time, take some effort and it’s going to take some dollars to get them back to even-keeled.”

Parker talked to the board Tuesday about how summer school will help students get back on track, specifically for those in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“Kindergarten through eighth grade is kind of a new step for us, but we’re going to look at every child in terms of eligibility and see what they need to do to get better,” he said. “They will be retained if they don’t take these opportunities.”

Right now, they’re looking at making it a three-week program, four half-days a week. The primary focus will be math and English-language arts. Two meals will be provided for the students each day.

“Transportation will be provided for all those that need it,” Parker said.

High school summer school will remain the same, except for possibly the location.

“We may expand high school summer school a little bit because there might be more kids who are credit-deficient,” Parker said.

The assistant superintendent, who also serves as the school system’s chief academic officer, described the new summer school as a “massive project,” with several teachers providing input.

“Our teachers will determine, based on the standards at each grade level, who is eligible for summer school,” Parker said.

He also clarified that the eligibility will be based on the Math and ELA grades.

After FCS board member asked Parker about benchmark math test scores, he said that they’re not good, but that’s being seen on a national level as well.

“They’re behind where they were similar to the same time last year,” Parker said.

To get students back on track, he predicts it will be about a three to five year process.

“It’s nothing we’ve done or what our teachers have done, they’ve worked like crazy, and every part of this is out of our control, but it’s going to take some effort to get back to where we’re supposed to be,” he said. “And this is not just Floyd County, but across the globe.”

However, every Floyd County school’s graduation rate went up in 2019-2020, with the system as a whole raising their graduation rate up by 1.36%. In total, FCS had a graduation rate of 94.6%.

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