By KIRSTIN TAYLOR
Rutherford County Schools
Every summer, Rutherford County Schools hosts its summer school program for grades 9-12 at one of the district high schools. This year, Riverdale High School is housing the operation.
In the first session that started in early June, the program served 284 students with 22 staff members. The current session serves 278 students and boasts 21 staff members including 14 certified teachers, two assistant principals, two guidance counselors and a secretary. There are an additional 150-155 students enrolled in the online program.
“Summer school has a two-fold purpose,” explained administrator Fred Campbell, who has been working with the program for six years. “One, students can come in and make up credits that weren’t earned during the regular school year. Two, they can come take classes to graduate early.”
Campbell endorses the program as a valuable asset to the community as a whole.
“We’re going to graduate students on time or early which, overall, helps the county’s graduation rate. So, students can get out and go on to college, pursue post-secondary opportunities or enter the workforce or move on to the military — whatever fits their needs. The program, I believe, is an awesome program for the county, for parents, for all stakeholders in the system.”
The program has seen a few changes over the past several years.
Craig Reavis, who has been teaching math for nine summers at sites all over the county, says that he has actually seen numbers decrease over his time with the program due to the grade recovery initiatives and online program.
“There used to be two sites for the summer school program. Now, there just aren’t as many students.”