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About 700 fewer students are attending than signed up, but the superintendent said that's normal.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
About 2,000 students are participating in Roanoke’s new summer enrichment program. The figure is about 700 fewer than initially signed up, but on par with what was projected when the program was first proposed.
Superintendent Rita Bishop said it’s typical for summer programs to have more students sign up than actually attend. She cited several factors, including divorces and moves.
“We had students that didn’t show,” Bishop told school board members at a Tuesday night meeting during which she updated officials on the summer program RCPS+.
The ambitious initiative, which started last month, more than triples the amount of learning time students have spent in traditional summer school and focuses on enrichment, not remediation. The goal is to bolster learning, particularly for at-risk students.
Bishop said staff were diligent about calling parents and making sure students who needed to be there came. But she said officials knew they were going to lose several hundred from sign-ups. She also said several times the students who need the program are there.
“I do feel like, interestingly enough, some of our neediest students are in the program,” she said.
The preliminary figures after the enrollment period ended showed about 2,700 students signed up, and 2,022 are participating.
Officials said they will also continue to push back against the stigma that summer school is remedial, which could factor into some children not coming.
In other news, the school board formally selected Todd Putney as its chairman.
Putney, who was expected to take over after longtime Chairman David Carson stepped down last month, was first appointed to the board in 2006. He has served as vice chairman since July 2011.
Carson stepped down last month after being tapped to become a circuit court judge. He took the bench July 1 and was not legally permitted to maintain his seat on the board.
Board member Suzanne Moore was selected as vice chairwoman. Moore, a retired teacher, was appointed by city council last month to serve a second term on the board.
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