HEB ISD considers summer school alternatives as ways to boost student outcomesdfwnewsa | November 20, 2023 | 0 | Dallas News , Fort Worth , Fort Worth News
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD is evaluating the effectiveness of its summer school program.
A new analysis of student outcomes showed the district’s summer school was not effective in boosting achievement. The data was presented to the school board Nov. 13.
Lauren Allen, the district’s coordinator of research and data analysis, emphasized the goal is to see high academic performance, especially in early literacy and math.
In 2023, there was no statistically significant difference in reading achievement for kindergarten through fifth-grade students who attended the summer program as compared with those who did not, the data shows. There also was no significant impact across all grade levels in math.
In 2022, the only grade and subject that showed a significant difference attributable to summer school was kindergarten math.
The problem may stem from students being too young to attend summer school immediately following the usual school year, Allen said, especially for kindergarten through second graders.
“Typically, it isn’t that they’re struggling to learn,” Allen said. “It’s that they just are not developmentally ready yet.”
The summer school program cost the district $409,000 in 2023. Not every student in the district attends summer school, but 22,814 students are enrolled within HEB ISD.
“There are other things that the money could be used for,” Allen said.
For example, the district could spend $158,000 to buy materials for math, reading, civics and science, Allen said. The items will be used throughout the school year and hopefully help student outcomes, she said.
“There are other intervention systems during the school day that have a more positive impact on student achievement,” Allen said, noting that common use of these new materials could give students a better foundation.
Waiting for more data and analysis could be valuable, board President Matt Romero said. He suggested that the district may need to reevaluate strategies for student support during the regular school year.
Finding ways to build students’ confidence in their ability to learn might make all the difference, he said.
“It seemed like a lot of the programs that we’re going to try had to do with building self-esteem and teaching kids to learn a little bit better,” Romero said. “That might show itself over time, but I’m not sure.”
Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.