Fayette BoE eyes replacement for old ‘summer school’

It is a reality that not every student passes every academic course. A proposal put before the Fayette County Board of Education Feb. 13 would modify the method by which students recover credits during the summer months.

The credit recovery model would meet increasing requirements while providing a cost-saving benefit to parents and the school system, proponents contend.

Assistant Superintendent Sam Sweat said the new approach is a way of continuing the credit recovery process during the summer while meeting new requirements. Most school districts in the area have given up on summer school because the old method of providing summer school is cost-prohibitive, Sweat added.

The new credit recovery method for the summer months is a result of several factors. One is that the NCAA will only accept credit recovery if there is face-to-face teacher instruction on-site.

Additionally, the current Georgia Virtual School has no teacher of record in the credit recovery model and, with the 23-credit requirement to graduate, students must have credit recovery options to remain on track to graduate in four years, Sweat said.

Sweat said the primary goal was to craft a new model that will meet students’ needs at a minimal cost or no cost to the school system.

The new model, said Sweat, will utilize the school system’s Open Campus model with classrooms open Mondays through Thursdays from June 4 – July 12 from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The cost of the credit recovery model will be $375 per student for up to three courses. Sweat noted that students will be responsible for providing their own transportation and lunch.

The difference in terms of cost is substantial if a student needs more than one course since the cost of a single course under the summer school model is $350, making the need to fulfill more than one course cost-prohibitive, said Sweat.

The new credit recovery model allows students to master only the standards they missed rather than re-taking the entire course. Another change from the old method of having students work in-step with the entire class provides students with the ability to dictate their own schedule so that they can finish one course and move on to the next, Sweat said.

In terms of the cost to the system, teachers are reimbursed at $30 per hour, the same rate as credit recovery held before and after school during the school year. Teachers will also work only the hours necessary to assist students, meaning that when the students finish, the teacher is finished, Sweat added.

That contrasts with the summer school method under which teachers are reimbursed at the rate paid for their degree for the full six weeks of summer school.

Sweat said that, unlike summer school, another factor making the new model cost-effective comes with no need to have a media specialist or administrator on-site. School system staff already working a 240-day contract can serve as the administrator.

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