MAKING THE GRADE: What goes on in the schools during the summer break?


By Daily News • Last Updated 11:16 am on Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

No more pencils. No more books.

Most of us who have been around awhile are familiar with the old saying about school that is usually attributed to students heading for a summer break. No more pencils, no more books suggest that schools close down during the months of June, July and August. It is unfortunate that impression persists, because in 2013 it is a long way from the truth.

I asked some of the administrators at Greenville Public Schools to help me by sharing some of the activities that will be taking place there this summer. Here are a few that they listed

Building School Improvement Plans (2013-2014) are reviewed at the district office and woven into the District Improvement Plan which is due Friday. This serves as the basis of state and federal program planning, curriculum planning, professional development planning and assessment calendar for next year.  The information doesn’t just come from this office but requires collaboration with finance, St. Charles Catholic School and other sources.

A very specific plan to spend the dollars in state and federal funding is completed based on the district consolidated application for state and federal program allocations. The plan is balanced to the penny at every building and at all district levels.

Currently multiple trainings for professional development for staff are being set up for the summer months — including but not limited to:

• Mobile 1:1 training every Wednesday starting today through August. This is to equip staff members to use mobile devices for instruction in their classrooms.

• All kindergarten teachers will participate in literacy training.

• Ten teachers will participate in reading / writing training at the Kent Intermediate School District.

• A required orientation and training for new teachers will take place in August.

• Science training and Montcalm Area Intermediate School District administrators curriculum training will take place.

• All mobile devices were collected in June and will be prepared for staff and students for first day of school. The Bring Your Own Device program requires updates of some infrastructure.

• Preschool programs (Head Start, Great Start Readiness) will be coordinated.

• Cedar Crest Elementary School is doing a summer reading/nutrition collaborative with the district media staff and in partnership with the Flat River Community Library.

• Central Office staff will register new students all summer.

• Facilities will be cleaned and repairs made where needed.

• Routine maintenance of all grounds will take place.

• Board members and administrators will hold their annual retreat in August to set goals and priorities for the coming school year.

This list is not complete. I have used Greenville schools as an example because it is what I know best. I hope it helps you to understand that, although things change during the summer months, important work takes place in your school district.

 Janet Ralph is president of the Greenville Public Schools Board of Education.

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