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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 23, 1999
Contact:Jan O'Keefe Feldman

State Gives $9 Million to 143 School Districts to Improve MCAS Scores in Summer School

Malden - The Massachusetts Board of Education has approved grants totaling more than $9 million to 143 school districts for summer school and after-school academic programs to help nearly 30,000 students improve their achievement on the MCAS test.

The Academic Support Services grants, recommended by Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll, will help nearly 8,500 students in grades 1-11 this school year, by providing them with academic instruction at extended-day, and Saturday programs. Additionally, 19,600 students will participate in academic programs this summer where they will get small group or individual tutoring in English language arts, mathematics and science/technology.

"These grants will go a long way toward helping students who need the most help to improve their performance on the MCAS and other academic tests," said Commissioner Driscoll. "The interest in these grants has been intense. This is clear evidence that districts are focused on increasing academic achievement and on driving up students' scores."

The Academic Support Services grants are the second installment under a new $20 million state fund signed into law by Governor Cellucci last summer. The Board of Education approved $4.7 million in grants in December for tutoring in reading. Up to 50 additional grants are expected to be awarded by the Board this spring.

Thirteen school districts will each receive $100,000 or more. They are:

Attleboro ($125,000), to provide summer programs for students in grades 9 - 11 at Attleboro High School and the Attleboro Vocational Technical High School. The programs will use interdisciplinary team teaching and hands-on applied learning approaches to address individualized learning needs;

Boston ($2,487,920), to provide a literacy and math summer program at 15 school sites for 3,500 students entering grades 3, 6, and 9, who scored low on the Stanford 9 Achievement Tests, and are at-risk of not being promoted to the next grade under Boston's new promotion policy. This program will provide students with intensive and accelerated small group instruction. Students who successfully complete the summer program will be promoted into the next grade.

Fall River ($177,580), to provide three programs for improved English language arts and math. An after-school and summer program will help high school students in grades 9 & 10, students in grades 6-8 will receive a summer school program, and a before-, after-, and Saturday school program will help students in grades 6-8;

Fitchburg ($125,460), to provide two summer programs. One six-week program will help students in grades 3-5 with their math, reading, and writing skills, and a summer math camp for students in grades 9 and 11 will help to improve their algebra and geometry skills;

Holyoke ($321,750), for a summer school program for students in grades 2 - 4, and an after-school program for students in grades 9-10;

Lawrence ($395,285), for three summer school program. For students in grades 6-8, there will be a 6-week, personalized reading, math and science instruction program. For students in grades 5-7, there will be a Summer Science Institute, and summer school will be provided for students in grades 9-10;

Leominster ($147,582), to provide a six-week summer program for intensive intervention and enrichment in English/language arts, math and science/technology for students in grades 1-8;

Lowell ($667,000), for three summer school programs to address reading and math improvement for students in grades 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12.

Lynn ($192,934), to provide four programs. An after-school program will help students in grades 4 and 5 improve reading comprehension and writing, math, or science. A before-school and after-school program for 11 grade students will help reading comprehension and writing, math and science. A summer program for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities will help to increase academic proficiency in English language arts and writing, and an 8-week, summer Environmental School program for 9th and 10th grade students will teach students critical thinking, problem-solving and writing skills in English, math and science courses related to environmental field work.

Revere ($150,000), for two, six-week summer programs for students in grades 3-6 and for students in grades 7-10, to improve English language arts, math, science and social studies;

Salem ($104,580), to provide two programs. For elementary students, Literacy Clubs will be established in after-school programs and homework centers at selected schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and public housing centers. For high school students, after-school tutoring in English language arts and math will be provided;

Somerville ($127,800), for two programs. A summer program will assist grade 9 students in improving English language arts, writing, math, social studies and science, and a summer program for students in grades 5-8 will be coordinated with a city-operated summer camp. Children will participate in academic work in the mornings, and recreation, and social activities in the afternoons;

Worcester ($200,000), for three programs. A Worksite Learning/Academic Support program will be provided for high school students, a tutoring program will help middle school students, and students in grades 4 & 5 will receive summer tutoring.

Last Updated: February 23, 1999
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