Finding their way

Massena Central School District Board of Education members have begun discussing the possibility of offering transportation for students who might want to take advantage of summer school programming. Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — A Massena Central School Board member says he’d like to see more summer school program choices for students and transportation for those who need it.

Curriculum director Stephanie Allen and high school principal Sarah Boyce had shared the results of the district’s last summer school session with the board of education during its recent meeting. It was the first year that the district offered an online version for students.

The Massena summer school program had been run as a regional summer school by the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES for the past 10 years. But Massena Central officials said switching to the online version could help them provide struggling students with more individualized assistance. Students take advantage of online learning, with a teacher serving as a tutor who is available for personalized assistance.

Following last week’s board presentation, board member Loren Fountaine said he wasn’t aware of one of the issues — student transportation.

“I did not know that we did not bus these students,” he said. “I’d be interested in some data on how many students are negatively affected by not having busing.”

He wondered how many students would participate in summer school if busing was available.

“I’m sure there are plenty because transportation’s an issue from rural areas,” Mr. Fountaine said. “What would be the cost of busing them?”

“I’m not sure how you would go about finding out what students would be negatively impacted by the lack of busing,” superintendent Patrick Brady said.

Mr. Fountaine suggested they could have a survey that would ask students if they were interested in attending.

“There must be a way to know,” he said. “We must have data on where these kids are coming from.”

He said some parents were not able to provide transportation.

“Those are the kids we need to reach,” Mr. Fountaine said. “If we’re going to be honest about trying to help children, I think we need to look.”

He also wondered what other opportunities they could provide for students in the summer, suggesting programs such as robotics.

“Teachers know that students lose a lot in those two months,” he said. “I think that most of us would agree. Maybe there’s some opportunities for us there. I’m not sure what they would cost, but we should be looking for these types of opportunities for kids. I’m interested to know what other classes might be available, what other opportunities we can offer kids.”

Mr. Brady said he would look into Mr. Fountaine’s concerns.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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