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School News

Summer school program a success, Plano board of ed told

Plano School District 88’s summer school program was a success, as it has been in the past, Dr. Tracy Thurwanger, assistant superintendent, told school board members Aug. 20.

She said they had 370 participants this year, down just 10 from last year. She noted that the count for 2015-16 was 235 and the first year, 2014-15, it was only 207. During the first year, the district did not provide transportation to and from the programs, but did so the following three years.

Another change was going from a three-week program the first year to four weeks for the next three years. Classes ran from June 4 to June 29, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day, she said.

Thurwanger said the district’s cost per student the first year was $133, $92 the next year, $11.25 in 2016-17 and back up to $19.25 this year to help pay the cost of a school nurse at the high school and at P.H. Miller School. However, the costs were paid by the district with $34,000, of which $12,313 came from Title 1 funds and $21,687 from family contributions for registration fees. The district’s total cost was $40,508.

She said they had a kindergarten readiness program at P.H. Miller School, noting that about one-third of the kindergarten students attended it. The first- through third-grade students attended P.H. Miller School for a Legos program, and the fourth- through eighth-grade students attended Plano High School for a National Inventors Hall of Fame curriculum.

“This was a hands-on program that was very successful. The kids were grinning from ear to ear,” she said.

Thurwanger said the summer school program caused some problems for maintenance crews cleaning the buildings for the start of school, so they are looking at the possibility of having a third site for next year to reduce the number of people in P.H. Miller and the high school.

For next year they are considering having classes from June 3 to June 28, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with an optional community theater camp and sports camp in the afternoon at the high school. Because many students wanted to go home rather than attend afternoon events, Thurwanger said they are considering discontinuing all afternoon programs except the theater camp.

Also, she said some parents had suggested reducing the programs to four days a week so they could have more three-day weekends.

Thurwanger said all of these things are being discussed and may be covered in the recommendations they make to the board at the Sept. 24 board meeting.

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