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Local students get a step ahead in summer school

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Updated: 7/25/2013 8:29 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County Public Schools are getting some national attention.  The Superintendent's Summer Academy is featured in the New York Times this week as a program that's working.

The program started in 2009.  It was designed to give elementary school students in low income neighborhoods a chance to get a leg up in school.

"It is fine arts mixed with academics.  Reading, math, and science," said Highlands Middle School teacher Patti Weigel.

There are no remedial classes at Highlands Elementary.  It's all voluntary, supplemental summer learning in a small classroom setting.

"It's a pretty well rounded program," said Weigel.  "We're trying to give them nutrition.  We're trying to give them activities.  We're trying to engage them academically and creatively as well."

Teachers say it's working, helping kids retain what they learn between grades so they start the next school year off on the right foot.

"Any time you have academics going on, and you have that engaged instruction, children are going to retain information," said Weigel.

Highlands Elementary School is one of ten local schools participating in the 6 week program.  It's all funded by a grant from the Wallace Foundation.

The Wallace Foundation funds similar programs around the country.  Some kids participating now will also be used in a national study on summer learning.
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