Retained In Spite of Reading Camp

Madison County school officials had hoped a summer reading camp would help the more than 70 students who failed the FCAT pass an alternative test. Only a small percentage of the students who participated in the program passed, but they're confident those who are retained will do well next year. Seventy-seven third grade students in Madison County failed the FCAT.

This summer volunteers worked with small groups of students hoping to help them pass the Standford 9 test, but school officials say only 10 of them passed.

"Those children had shown a year's growth even though they did not make the cut for promotion. They had shown growth and so our teachers had done what they needed to do for the children to improve," says Waldrop.

The school's reading resource specialist says teachers and administration will do all they can to help these all American kids improve and pass the FCAT next time around.

"I will be helping to pull the students out throughout the day to give them some one-to-one small group setting intensive reading help," says Newman.

School officials believe the summer reading camp wasn't necessarily a wash. They believe some of these students weren't really prepared to handle the tasks.

"A lot of our children don't come to our school ready for kindergarten and so the schools are working hard to get the children ready to meet grade level expectations developed by the state,” Waldrop adds.

Teachers will be working with students in kindergarten through 2nd grade to identify problems before they get to the 3rd grade and show up on the FCAT.

School officials hope to continue getting volunteers in the school system; in fact they hope to have a mentor for each child to give them the extra help they need.