Below-grade-level readers to attend in extended school year program

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The Beaufort County School District’s elementary schools will require their struggling readers to attend 18 full days of focused literacy instruction this summer to help them catch up with their peers.

About 2,000 district students in grades 1-5 are expected for the free specialized classes, which will be required for students who score in the bottom 25 percent on standardized reading tests. Classes will be 8:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays from June 1 through June 30, and bus transportation will be provided along with breakfast and lunch.

“Reading is the single most important skill, not only in school but in life,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “The earlier we can intervene to help struggling readers, the more likely it is that those students can become successful as they move up through the grades.”

The South Carolina General Assembly’s passage of the “Read to Succeed Act” requires that beginning with the 2017-18 school year, any student who isn’t proficient in reading by the end of Grade 3 must be retained. Moss said that the school district’s additional summer reading instruction is aimed at helping students before the new state requirement takes effect.

Beaufort County parents of elementary school children will be notified within the next week if their child’s reading scores will likely require them to attend the free summer reading instruction in June. Parents who do not want their children to attend may apply for an opt-out waiver that states that they are aware of the possible retention consequences mandated by the new state law.

The summer reading instruction will be offered at 13 schools across the district, with classes consolidated in some instances.

Classes will be held at M.C. Riley Elementary, Mossy Oaks Elementary, Okatie Elementary, Pritchardville Elementary, Red Cedar Elementary, River Ridge Academy, St. Helena Elementary and Whale Branch Elementary.

Consolidated reading classes will be offered at:

· Broad River Elementary
· Bluffton Elementary
· Coosa Elementary
· Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts
· Port Royal Elementary

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