Montgomery County school officials are planning a pilot summer school program designed to assist elementary and junior high students who score poorly in reading and math.
The Board of Education approved the project last week, based on a proposal from board member Marian Greenblatt. The program would aid students in schools that scored lowest in the county on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Maryland State Functional Reading Test. Board members said they hoped the impromptu program will lead to methods for raising achievement in basic skills at low scoring schools throughout the county.
Frank Snyder, director of summer school programs said approximately 120 students are expected to participate in the four-week program, to begin July 2.
Students identified as needing assistance will be selected from two elementary schools and two junior highs said to score in the bottom 10 percent in the county on standardized tests in basic skills. The two elementary schools -- Rocking Horse Road in Rockville and Glenallen in Silver Spring -- were the only two of nine low-scoring schools identified that are not already receiving aid through the federal Title I program, Snyder said.
Rocking Horse Road third graders last year scored in the 44th percentile in reading comprehension on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills meaning approximately 56 percent of all third graders across the county scored better. Glenallen scored in the 55th percentile. Several county elementary schools scored near or above the 90th percentile.
School officials also selected Takoma Park and Poolesville Junior Highs. Sixteen percent of Takoma Park's seventh graders last year failed the Maryland State Functional Reading Test, the third poorest showing in the county. Poolesville ranked 12th in the county on the test. About 9 percent of its seventh graders failed.
Snyder said students will be identified as possible participants in the program by teachers and administrators in each school. Although details of the program were still being worked out this week, Snyder said letters would probably be sent home to parents, possibly to be followed by phone calls.
Instructors in the program will be chosen from the local teaching staffs, one for every 20 students. Snyder said students will be enrolled for a half-day, five days a week through July, without charge.
Transporation for students who normally receive it from the county will be provided, he said.