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April 23, 2014

Roseville schools hosting summer learning program

Program is open to all county students

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

ROSEVILLE — A new Roseville summer schooling program could help elementary school students get a leg up on their studies.

Assistant Superintendent Michael LaFeve said the district would be offering full instructional days for six weeks in July and August at Steenland Elementary School. The classes are open to all students who were in kindergarten through fifth grade in not only Roseville, but all Macomb County schools.

“Over the years, people have done year-round programs, but really they took the same number of days and spread them around the year,” LaFeve said. “So, for example, you go to school for 45 days and then take 10 off. We didn’t want to do that; we wanted to provide more instruction for people who wanted it.”

While this is not the first summer schooling program Roseville has had, LaFeve said it is the first one to run six weeks with full 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. school days. The district will provide breakfast and lunch to students, as well as a paid latchkey service. Transportation will also be available to students in Roseville, though any students coming from other cities will need their own rides.

The summer school program is paid in large part by a federal grant, LaFeve said, and as a result, the summer school will be free for students and their families to attend.

According to Roseville Curriculum Director Mark Blaszowski, the idea to do this came up during a meeting last year.

“We talked about how a change in (our) schedule over the year, and still having a six-week break in the summer, was not really going to make the impact we need,” Blaszkowski said. “Our decision was made a few months ago to go with this model instead.”

Blaszkowski said that while the curriculum still needs to be hammered out and finalized, the plan is to have a similar curriculum to the one from the standard school year, particularly in math and reading. He said the district is still talking about adding science courses, physical education and world languages.

LaFeve said there are several advantages to kids continuing to take classes in the summer. They can use the summer instructional period to get ahead of the school’s tiered reading and math programs, which tests students and puts them in the appropriate reading or math level. Additionally, the classes should help students retain what they have learned.

“We don’t want kids to lose; we know kids lose stuff over the summertime,” he said. “They lose some of what they learn.”

Steenland Elementary was chosen for the program due to its central location in Roseville, the building’s size and relative newness compared to others within the district. LaFeve said, ideally, they will get enough students signed up to fill the building’s 500-student capacity, but he acknowledged that may be optimistic. He did add that the district already has about 50-60 students signed up for the classes.

“It does give options to parents,” he said. “If they want to do a traditional school year, they can do it, and those who want the additional instruction time can do that, also.”

The regular Steenland staff is not necessarily teaching the classes — LaFeve said that the positions will be posted for educators in the district who are qualified and interested in taking on the job.

Blaszkowski said parents can sign up at the district’s website, www.rcs.misd.net, or by getting paper forms at one of the school offices.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kevin Bunch at kbunch@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.