In June 14 issue, Russell County News By Derek Aaron Russell County News Editor
Summer vacation is underway for Russell County’s students, but for many that means heading back to the classroom as summer school and summer day camp kicked into full gear in recent weeks.
At Russell County High School, summer school finished up Friday, after several weeks of classes, according to Delilah Wade, summer school coordinator.
Mary McGowan, one of the summer program instructors, said that the regular summer school this year was only allowed two weeks, Monday through Friday, rather than the four weeks allotted in 2007, due to the recent budget cuts made by the board of education.
“We use the NOVEL STARS program, which is all computerized, to complete their work,” McGowan said.
The program, which also furnishes the students breakfast and lunch, allows students to complete their assigned work at their own pace via the computer. The instructor will grade the student’s work after they have finished.
“We have all of the required classes, English, math, science, Social Studies and we have a few electives,” she said.
Foreign language classes and physical education classes are two examples of classes that can’t be taken during summer school.
McGowan said students receive the same credit hours as they would during regular school sessions with a passing grade but acknowledged there was some question of how much a student could actually retain in two weeks as comparable to the 18 weeks they are in session with other subjects throughout the school year.
Wade said there have been approximately 85 students enrolled in the summer school program this summer with several of them being seniors.
McGowan said these seniors had just a few credits to obtain before obtaining their diploma and the program allowed them to do that, rather than have to come back in the fall.
Wade, McGowan, Pete Lee, Candice Robertson and Devin Edwards make up the staff for the summer school program at RCHS this year.
Edwards is teaching a unique, seven-person, three week Spanish II class that is completely voluntary.
“Six of the seven are in band and because band takes up an entire year of block classes, so they miss out on some of their college prep classes,” she said. “If they don’t get finished during the day they take it home and get their work done there.”
Edwards said several of her students have expressed interest in taking Spanish III, a year-long class. So without this summer class, it would be impossible for these students to take Spanish III during the 2008-09 school year.
“This is one of the best groups of kids I’ve had because they want to be here,” Edwards said.
Summer Day Camp, being held at Russell Springs Elementary, is for students from all four county elementary that are too old for day care but are still too young to be left home alone, according to Russell Springs and Salem Youth Services Center Coordinator Phil Carney. Through the county Family Resource Center, Jamestown and Union Chapel Youth Services Center Coordinator Jan Brumley is also instrumental to the camp’s success.
“The kids have had to have completed Kindergarten and we take in-county kids only,” Carney said.
He said the camp tried to jointly utilize all of its resources through 21st Century, a federal grant that can be used for a multitude of academic, enrichment and after school programs, Adanta, the summer feeding program and the Russell County Family Resource Center.
“21st Century had written a grant for some academic-type activities of a morning, not like traditional school, but just some enhancement activities,” Carney said. “Then in the afternoon, we do recreational-type things such as swimming, going to the Mini-Indy and going to the movies.”
Summer Day Camp, which runs Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., costs $12 per day and includes all activities the program entails, Carney said. You can pick the days you want your child to attend. They can go for as few as one day or every day, depending on what you prefer.
“We generally average between 40 and 50 kids a day, but with the economy a bit slow we’re down a few kids from what we’ve had,” he said. “And we’ve had to go to the four-day week because of the economy as well.”
Currently, the program is in its last phases of funding through the 21st Century learning grant but Carney said he hopes the grant will be re-applied for in the coming months.
“We feel like we’ve been able to provide a good quality service for these kids,” Carney said.
The program is staffed through a joint effort as well through the Family Resource and Youth Services centers. Carney said that the camp had around 15 staffers, in all.
For more information on the camp call Phil Carney at 270-866-7850 or Jan Brumley at 270-343-2056.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629