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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More details emerge about Summer Bridge

Ambraesha Randle takes part in a writing exercise at a 2006 summer class at Blanton Elementary School.

WILLIE J. ALLEN | Times (2006)

Ambraesha Randle takes part in a writing exercise at a 2006 summer class at Blanton Elementary School.



We’re closing in on the summer, but many details about the Pinellas County School District ’s new Summer Bridge program are fuzzy. 

Hundreds of teachers have applied for teaching positions. A couple thousand students have registered for classes. But it’s still not clear how much the program will cost – or exactly how the school district is paying for it.                                                                

During a meeting of the county commission, School Board and Juvenile Welfare Board Tuesday, one dollar figure emerged: $2.2 million. That was the cost given for each of two options, either operating 20 sites with 3,652 students or 27 sites with 3,082 students. Those are just elementary sites. The school district also plans to operate middle and high school programs.

So far, enrollment is the biggest piece that will determine cost. In the initial registration period, more than 2,100 students signed up. Registration is again open and will close in early May.

There were a few other interesting details that came out during the meeting. For instance, the percentage of eligible students who came to past years’ summer school programs for third graders ranged from 44 percent to 60 percent. Last year, it was 53 percent.

The limited hours – just four to five hours a day – created a hardship for a lot of working families. There also was a limited number of sites, which created a potential problem for families with limited transportation. The program also focused only on reading.

The school district is trying to eliminate some of those problems by creating “wrap-around services” for after-school care and providing limited transportation. Those details, too, are still a bit fuzzy.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:12pm]


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