Good Morning Wildcat Nation,
It sure is a great day to be a Wildcat! With all of the rain we have had lately I can’t help but feel the end of May traded places with April.

Good Morning Wildcat Nation,
It sure is a great day to be a Wildcat! With all of the rain we have had lately I can’t help but feel the end of May traded places with April.
Last week we finished the regular school year and are getting ready for summer school. We are fortunate to still be able to provide summer school as there are many districts that were forced to discontinue summer school when tough budget times hit, and many of them still have not been able to reinstate summer school curriculum.
Summer school has been around for a long time and has provided countless students with credit recovery (high school), remedial programs (younger children), or just the opportunity to continue to learn.
The services that are provided through summer school can many times be the difference between success and failure, and graduation or dropout.
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) has long warned about “summer learning loss” among elementary and middle school students. They provide research that shows average students reading at their appropriate grade level maintain their reading level, but those students who are behind their grade level in reading regress at least two months during the summer.
The year-by-year accumulation of those deficits in the earlier grades can lead to greater achievement gaps later on in their educational careers. As students get further and further behind, the chance they will drop out of school increases greatly.
Many districts across the country that are having great success with summer school are extending the length of the curriculum to six or eight weeks and are lengthening the day to eight hours. These schools are also opening summer school up to more students than just those at risk or in need of recovery or remediation.
The model set forth by the NSLA combines the expected remedial instruction in reading, writing, and math with enrichment programs in science, arts, physical education and other subjects. The NSLA also recommends partnering with the YMCA, local libraries, museums, and various non-profit and for-profit partners to bring a high quality summer school experience.
Whether children attend summer school or not, it is extremely important that they not ignore their education over summer break. Students who read through the summer months will come back sharper and ready to learn. Hopefully they won’t just maintain the average and they will advance or gain ground because they put in the extra time over the summer months.
That being said, I would like to challenge all parents and students to make reading a priority this summer. Commit to reading at least 30 minutes a day and you will be surprised by how better prepared your student will be when it comes time to return to school in August.
Have a GREAT week and a great summer, too.



Dan Decker is superinndent of the Neosho  School District. He writes a weekly column.