Schools unveil new summer programs

By Jeff Whitten

Assistant Director of Schools Dr. Brian Jackson unveiled two new summer programs at Thursday’s meeting of the McNairy County Board of Education.

The goals of these two programs are to improve academic success and to motivate students toward greater achievement, Jackson told the board.

One is a remedial program designed to help students to raise their levels of performance to the standards and the other is an enrichment program that will allow students to go beyond these standards.

The first is the Math Remediation Program.

“We do realize that we have in our area a need for our students to be better prepared for career pursuits in mathematics and also science areas,” he said.

The math remediation program is designed to strengthen the math and algebra skills of McNairy County students.

“We are utilizing the E for Tennessee and also the Bristol City online program, both of which use certified teachers to focus on the skill sets where our students have demonstrated mastery,” Jackson said.

Students are identified for participation in the program by the results of standardized tests that are administered three times a year.

These results were used to target students needing extra assistance, Jackson explained. The students who were targeted  for help are the ones most impacted by the change in standards.

The students who exhibit the greatest gap between their performance and the new standards because of the rigor of these standards will be targeted, he said.

Jackson said most of the students in the program are in the seventh or eighth grade. This is in order to prepare them for the heightened standards they will face in their freshman year of high school.

Students can participate in the program online as well as consulting teachers who will be at Selmer Middle School, he said.

This program will serve over 40 students and will extend through the middle of July, Jackson said. It is funded by a grant from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program.

The other program is a  two-week summer enrichment institute to improve science skills.

About two dozen of the top sixth-grade students are participating in the program.

The program is an intensive laboratory and field experience program, Jackson said.

“A team of self-trained educators will lead the program,” he said.

Participants in the program will learn the importance of teamwork, Jackson said. They will engage in a variety of scientific activities, such as rocketry and engineering bridge work.

Students in this program will hear from experts in their fields and visit world-class facilities, Jackson said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities we are able to provide, hopefully to motivate them for future success and careers,” Jackson told the board.