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Summer Bridge draws about 1,000 students so far



Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego wanted to steer about 12,000 students into a new six-week summer program, called Summer Bridge . So far, about 1,000 have signed up.

That’s far lower than what Grego hoped for. But he’s still calling it a win.

“To me, I celebrate that,” he said. “If it comes down to it, you get 2,000 or 3,000 – huge success.”

Grego said his philosophy is to get things going and then see how far they take you. In this case, he said the district will serve more students over the summer than before. And registration is open until April 2.

Grego announced the program in February, but said he had been working on it for a couple months before. Summer Bridge is intended to curb summer learning losses among students who are struggling academically. There are programs for pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school students. Students are eligible based on FCAT scores, performance on end-of-course exams and, for younger students, other assessments.

There have been some mixed messages in the community about the program. Some principals told parents that it’s mandatory, when it’s not. The Gradebook heard from one community member who was told by an assistant principal at a high school that registration hadn’t opened, when it had.

And the district has received calls from parents who want to sign up children who aren’t eligible. That could be because when Grego first announced the program he made it sound like it included opportunities for higher-performers too.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:07am]


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