MOULTRIE -- Summer school for elementary, middle and migrant school children runs from June 6 through 29, and school officials especially hope to see third-graders who failed reading and fifth graders who failed reading or mathematics on the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) enter the program.

Scores are much better than predicted, and a good many of those who have failed were close to passing, school officials said. These children, about 167 of them, are strongly encouraged to attend summer school to better their chances at passing the CRCT retests that will be administered at 8 a.m. June 28 at Willie J. Williams cafeteria.

Students can, of course, retest without attending, but summer school is intense review in subjects these students need most, Assistant Superintendent Mo Yearta said Friday. Otherwise, if these third- and fifth-graders fail again, they will not pass to the next grade.

Teachers predicted 120 third graders would fail the reading portion of CRCT, but only 54 did, she said. Of those 54, 29 came within 10 points of passing.

In fifth grade, only 69 failed reading when 110 had been predicted. Of that 69, 22 were within 10 points. In fifth grade math, teachers thought 133 would fail, but only 88 did and 42 are within 10 points of passing.

Parents can appeal retainment to a placement committee consisting of the parent, the school principal and one or more teachers. Committees for special education students usually add a psychologist, and for students who speak limited English, there's already a placement committee. The committee's decision to retain or promote has to be unanimous, Yearta said.

"The whole point is to do what's in the best interest of the child, but at the same time not give up on expectations for performance," she said.

The district has enough teachers to teach 300 students, she said, so the remaining spots will be filled by students from other grades who are recommended by teachers for extra help, especially second graders and fourth graders who will face the critical CRCT next school year. Also, seventh graders will have to pass the CRCT next school year in reading and mathematics to ascend to high school, she said.

The program starts at 8 a.m. and runs through 2:30 p.m. Transportation, breakfast and lunch are provided.

Summer school for regular elementary and middle school students will be held at Willie J. Williams Middle School. All children age 3 through eighth grade eligible for migrant school should attend the migrant program at Stringfellow Elementary School to ensure continued funding, Yearta said. Typically, about 400 students attend the migrant summer school each year, she said.

Parents can pick up test scores June 9 and 10 from the central office.

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