New summer school program for Port Arthur K-2

The Port Arthur Independent School District is starting a new summer program aimed at strengthening the reading, writing and math skills of students in Kindergarten through second grade.

The district's Jumpstart program will take place over seven weeks this summer, at no cost to parents.

While it may mean more time in the classroom for some students, the program will help young students get ahead while promoting a hands on approach to learning.

A recent study reported by US News and World Report shows US public high schools have reached a milestone with an 80% graduation rate. Researchers project that by year 2020, when current second graders are entering high school, the national graduation rate will be up to 90%.

Instructional coach at Adams Elementary Tracey Gabriel said she's hoping programs like these help.

"When they understand math concepts and they're able to read fluently and comprehend well then the focus shifts from prerequisite skills to more of a focus on building those higher skills for college," she said.

The district will choose 90 students from each elementary school in Port Arthur to participate. Students will be chosen based on test scores, end of year exams and students' six week progress reports throughout the year.

Studies also show that by fifth grade, students from low-income families may have fallen as many as two to three years behind their middle- class counterparts, due to less access to resources during the summer. With most of the students in the district on the free or reduced lunch program the fact that the program is free, provides transportation and meals is an added bonus for those families who struggle during the summer months.

The program will run 8:30 a.m. Mon. - Thurs June 16- August 4.

 Parents whose students are chosen will be notified by the school.


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