Low-performing schools have highest absences from Summer Bridge
Some of the lowest-performing schools in Pinellas County have the highest absences for Summer Bridge, the school district's new six-week program to curb summer learning losses.
We reported on The Gradebook that nearly 9,000 students registered for the program, but about 6,600 showed up when it started last week. Absences ran about 22 percent at the elementary level and about 36 percent at the middle school level. District officials said it was hard to predict how many students would actually turn out because it's the first year of the program.
A school-by-school breakdown shows that some of the lowest-performing schools had the hardest time getting students to come. At D-rated Campbell Park Elementary, for instance, nearly half of the 275 students who registered didn't show on the first day. The number of absentees fluctuated a bit in the first few days, but remained high. At F-rated Melrose Elementary, more students were absent the first day (109) than present (98.) That changed on day two of the program, with 131 students present and 76 absent.
On the first day of Summer Bridge, Campbell Park and Melrose had the largest number of students absent among elementary schools. For middle schools, F-rated Azalea Middle had the largest number of students absent, with 160 missing out of 371 registered. (About 43 percent gone.)
Maximo Elementary, also an F-rated school, had a 41 percent absence rate, with 73 students missing and 106 present.
Summer Bridge targeted struggling students across the school system, so all schools are serving students who need extra help. But some of these schools - Melrose, Campbell Park and Maximo - have the neediest students within that group. It should also be noted that some schools are serving students from other schools. For instance, if a student was in a magnet school during the year, but wanted to attend the neighborhood school for Summer Bridge.