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Assignment: Education - Update: Year-round School pt. 2

By Lisa Klein, lklein@wkbt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:27:34 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 18 2013 08:47:00 AM CDT

WKBT, News8000.com

Reading is, of course, important to veteran teacher Katherine Erickson. And Erickson's second and third graders get to reap the benefits of her lessons. But this year is a little different.

"This year we go in the summer," said Korayma Boyle, Hamilton Early Learning Center 3rd grader.

Hamilton kicked of their year-round school calendar on July 18th. With just a six-week summer break, students didn't have as much time away from the classroom. Educators hoped this schedule would help stop summer slide.

"We looked at their reading levels from when they left school in the Spring to when they came in in July," said Katherine Erickson, 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Hamilton Early Learning Center.

The results give Ms. Erickson hope.

"Some of my kids really stayed the same," said Erickson. "They did really well in the fluency piece... the being able to read the words. Some of my kids did go back a little bit. They are quickly regaining to where they were. I don't feel like it's taking quite as long to get back there."

That outcome is what the school's principal, Steve Michaels, was hoping to see. And the same results were found throughout the school.

"I feel good about it," said Michaels. "I feel very comforted in what we saw. We saw a high percentage of our kids stay the same or improve over the summer."

The results from the Developmental Reading Assessments, given at the beginning of August, show that of the eight students who regressed in grades one through three only three dipped below grade level. That was not the case in years past.

"We had significantly higher numbers," said Michaels. "Probably double the numbers of kids who regressed."

Even more alarming was how far behind the students who had regressed were falling.

"In first grade, your DRA is 14," said Michaels. "If you lost half your points... and we had a number of kids who were maybe not quite at grade level. So they're at 12. You lost half. So you're at a 6. That means you could be going into 2nd grade reading just a little better than a kindergartener."

But that is not the case for the majority of these kids this year. Those that have regressed are quickly getting right back on track.

"It's learning that comprehension piece again," said Erickson. "And that struggled a little bit at the beginning, but now I'm really seeing the practice of that every day. They're right back to where they need to be, and some of them already made gains to go up."

Which is possibly proof Ms. Erickson's students are benefiting from the year-round calendar and the value she puts on reading.

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