UP schools hold summer school ahead of academic year

Aspen Ridge Schools and Tahquamenon Area School held summer classes to prepare students for a new semester.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP & NEWBERRY, Mich. (WLUC) - Summer is speeding by, and with it approaches the new school year.

Before then, some schools are hosting summer classes to prepare students. On Monday, kindergarten through fifth-grade students kicked off their final week of summer classes at Aspen Ridge School in Ishpeming Township. Aspen Ridge Elementary Principal Chris Marana explains the purpose of summer school.

“The main idea is really to try to prevent that summer loss or summer slide as they call it,” Marana said. “We want to target the areas that students were struggling in from the previous school year.”

Marana added that each student learns something slightly different than their peers. It all depends on what they are having difficulty with.

“It ranges from each student because we look to hone in on those areas and bring them up to speed a little bit,” Marana said.

Marana noted attendance this year is down compared to last, with just over 40 students. He added that those who have shown up are experiencing a more personalized learning environment than they may get during the regular school year.

“We are able to keep a student-to-teacher ratio of about five-to-one, so the students are really getting a lot of attention, a lot of individualized work,” Marana explained.

Marana said students also have a virtual summer school option that they can complete at their own pace. He noted that many students claim they enjoy summer school more than they expected.

“It really is a different pace, it’s a different feeling, it’s relaxed, it’s a lot more laid back,” Marana added. “When you ask the kids they say that they really enjoy it.”

In Newberry, Tahquamenon Area Schools (TAS) held six weeks of K-12 classes in June and July. TAS Superintendent Stacy Price said struggling high schoolers could complete online credit recovery. Meanwhile, K-eight students had the option of math, science or English courses.

Price added that the ultimate goal is to bring kids up to speed and reconnect them with friends.

“We have held summer school to help those students that may be struggling a little bit,” Price said. “we also want to give those kids a place to come during the day to see friends. Sometimes seeing friends can be a very difficult thing due to the vastness of our school district.”

Aspen Ridge students begin the new school year on Aug. 30. The last day of summer classes at Aspen Ridge is Thursday.

TAS also begins classes before labor day on Aug. 29.

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