Summer Bridge starts in Pinellas
Summer school started today in Pinellas County's public schools.
Superintendent Mike Grego started the Summer Bridge program three years ago to help curb summer learning loss. He targeted 10,000 to 12,000 students with lower scores on state standardized exams. In the first year, more than 6,000 registered. This year, more than 16,000 registered. Some students who registered won't show up; others won't show for the entire time. The Gradebook will be asking about attendance figures later this week.
Summer learning loss typically is worse among low-income students, and the gap grows each year. The program combats the problem by offering students reading, math and science instruction between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday. The program is available to elementary, middle and high school students. (High school students focus more on credit recovery than instruction.)
This year's program will be shorter than usual, about four weeks instead of six. That's because the 2016/17 school year is starting earlier. Summer Bridge will end July 14. School will start Aug. 10.
Grego, who recently visited the editorial board at the Times, highlighted the percentage of students in Summer Bridge who are black. More than 30 percent of students registered for the program each year have been black. Black students account for about 19 percent of the school district's student population. The school district has a troubled record with black students.
To get more information about Summer Bridge, click here.