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Schenectady City School District kicks off Summer Enrichment Program

July 12, 2017 12:07 AM

SCHENECTADY - More than 600 Schenectady school students in pre-k through 5th grade headed back to school this week.

However, school officials said what they are doing should not be confused with traditional summer school.

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“We wanted this to be different than just coming to school every day,” Said Patty Paser, Assistant to the Superintendent for the Schenectady City School District. “So we blended academics with activities music and art.”

“We did singing, we did some math on chrome book,” said student Sasha Boodram. She just completed the third grade.

Paser runs the Summer Enrichment Program, which kicked off Monday July 10th and runs through August 4th.

She was overseeing the program’s Paige Elementary School site Monday.

The $1.2 million dollar program funded through grant money also includes two other school sites at Pleasant Valley and Martin Luther King elementary schools as well as a staff of about 140 people.

Paser says the pilot program aims to provide a fun summer environment as well as academic support so students do not fall behind when they start school in September.

“In the inner city it happens, there's a greater gap,” said Mont. Pleasant Middle School teacher Brian Spivey. “So they go coming out maybe on third grade level and then they just slide and then it's hard to get them back up.”

Alice Poulopoulous, who just finished the third grade as well, will get to brush up on writing during the summer program. It is her favorite subject.

“I think it's a very fun activity to do when you're bored and I think it's very good for you,” Poulopoulous said.

The program is free for students who attend the program for 10 hours a day: 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays.

Students are given breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Class sizes are only 12-14 students so those who have both fallen behind academically and those performing at grade level get the attention they need.

Students are not graded on assessment tests and there is no homework, which leaves more time for fun.

“We go out for recess,” said Alisha Meisner, who also just finished the 3rd grade. “And I like to climb the spider web and swing on the swings.”

If all goes well, the program could be expanded to the entire district next year.

Credits

Nia Hamm

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