Summer sessions help Merced students bridge gaps in math, English-language

05/28/2014 7:28 PM

05/29/2014 10:40 PM

Next fall’s incoming freshmen who are lagging in math or English language skills will get help this summer as the Merced Union High School District offers instruction in Merced, Atwater and Livingston.

The Summer Bridge Academy for math, which started five years ago in Merced, will expand to Atwater and Livingston next month. Albert Gonzalez, the district’s program administrator for assessment and accountability, said school leaders are trying to identify students who need help with Algebra I classes.

“The goal is to build up their fundamental math skills,” Gonzalez said. “They will be able to move forward and progress. We’ve had great success in past academies with 50 percent able to move up to the next level.”

The program starts June 17 and runs through July 3 with sessions Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Gonzalez expects each community will have two classes of 30 students each.

Nicole Knott, district literacy coach, said the Summer Bridge Academy for English language will help those struggling with reading, writing and vocabulary skills. Sessions will preview material covered in freshman English 1 classes, an area where many ninth-graders struggle.

Knott called the sessions for about 250 students a mini boot camp to help kids prepare for the English classes. She said an average of 85 to 90 percent of the participants pass the reading sessions and don’t need to take a support class they would customarily be offered in the fall.

Gonzalez said past Summer Bridge Academy sessions involved a partnership between the district, Merced City School District, UC Merced and the Boys and Girls Club.

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