Summer school in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 began on Monday, June 10, and is off to a great start with almost 700 students enrolled in classes, including the district’s Summer Reading Program.
At Proviso East High School, 214 students are taking courses in English, social studies, science, math, driver’s education, band, and NJROTC, up from 158 students enrolled last year. Proviso West High School has 457 students taking classes in English, math, science, social studies, physical education, and driver’s education as well as several electives. This is up from the 348 students who were enrolled during summer 2012. Most of the students enrolled at both schools are taking the classes, which run now through July 11, to recover credit and to meet promotion and graduation requirements.
"The summer school classes are necessary in providing our students the help they need to continue with their education," said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. "As we prepare to move to the Common Core standards, we need to be sure that our students have every resource available to be successful."
Along with the students enrolled in acceleration courses, Proviso Math and Science Academy is also hosting the district’s Summer Reading Program, with 20 students – all incoming freshmen at the district’s three schools – taking the class. Ms. Erin Mason, a PMSA English teacher, hopes that they will develop a love of reading if they do not already have it.
"I’m hoping that they get into their freshman year with a greater love of literature," she said.
In the program, the students are reading poetry, short stories, and one of four novels that Ms. Mason chose for the purpose of making a personal connection to them. Through reading the books, which include Amy Tan’s "The Joy Luck Club" and "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, they discuss themes such as identity and racism as they comprehend the stories.
"The students participate in a host of literacy activities designed to improve students’ reading comprehension skills, vocabulary, and writing skills," said Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA. "We only ask that they bring an open mind, excited heart, and a passion for learning."
The students said that they are enjoying the summer reading program.
"I thought we would all get a book and write an essay on it at the end of the week," said Rachael Calcote, 14 and an incoming PMSA freshman. "It’s more discussions than reading in the quiet."
Caius Pollard, 14 and an incoming Proviso West freshman, also thought it would be just hard work.
"We’ve had fun," he said. "We talked. We learned."