IMESD schools plan for summer

By on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – School districts in the InterMountain Education Service District are already concentrating on summer learning programs at all grade levels. High school programs are focused on helping students who have fallen behind to earn more credits. Meanwhile, programs for kindergarten through eighth grade are more about enrichment.

“K-8 is really focused on arts and crafts, camps, breakfast, lunch and a cool place when it’s 115 degrees outside,” Superintendent Mark Mulvihill said.

He said there’s a term in education called ‘summer melt,’ the decline academically that kids face from June into September if they are not participating in enrichment opportunities or are without an established daily regular routine.

“We think of summer as an exciting time, but for a lot of kids, it’s not,” he said. “It’s a time where their routine is broken. Safety, food, and these kinds of things aren’t consistent in their homes, and those kids regress academically.”

Mulvihill said that for grades 9-12, it’s an attempt to help kids who have fallen behind on their 24-credit high school diploma to catch up with the work. Districts are paying special attention to ninth graders.

“We’re targeting the freshmen,” he said. “Ninth grade is the most vulnerable age for a student and if they haven’t earned their six credits by the end of the year, they’re on a track not to graduate.”