June 18, 2009

New summer school program comes to Washburn school system

By Don Winter

Summer school is cool. That’s not usually a phrase one would expect children to utter. But according to the latest buzz that’s exactly what’s being said about Washburn School District’s new Title One summer school program. "This new program is thematic, it provides a small student to teacher ratio with a lot of one to one time, and most importantly it’s fun," said Brad Rinas, Washburn School District’s Superintendent. The new summer program is aimed at Title One students in kindergarten to seventh grade, who according to Cathy Clark, the schools Title One teacher, are "students that need a little extra services in reading, math, and writing." Title One is a program funded by federal dollars, which are distrubuted to the states. The states then pass those funds on to schools on a basis of need as it relates to the portions of their populations that qualify for assistance. If not all of the funds are spent they go back into a "reallocation" fund for which schools may apply. Schools can then apply for these reallocated funds. "There are a lot of rules and guidelines on how you can spend the money," Rinas said. "One way you can use it is on a summer school program which we didn’t have." After surveying parents and students the potential program would affect, the school district decided to give it a try. The additional funding procured allowed the school to not only create the new program but hire an additional instructor to lower the student to teacher ratio.

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