With COVID failures, C-R expanding summer school


Cobleskill-Richmondville is expanding summer school to help students get through this difficult year of the pandemic.
Maintaining or even approaching last year’s high graduation rate of 94 percent is one of those goals.
It took C-R five years to improve the graduation rate by 20 percentage points by 2020. 2021 may be a greater challenge.
A key issue is disengaged students––many learning at home, remotely, but aren’t connecting with their virtual classes. Failure can be a result.
C-R’s course failure rate is usually three or four percent, Superintendent Carl Mummenthey said.
“Now course failure is close to 20 percent,” he added.
Home visits by administrators and counselors are one way to bring students back or at least find out what’s wrong.
“I’ve made more home visits this year than in my entire career,” said High School Principal Brett Barr.
“The pandemic’s been hard on families in so many ways.”
Mr. Mummenthey noted three strategies for a beefed-up summer school:
•Expanding special education, including physical therapy and other programs.
•Two-week ‘short-burst’ in-person classes, focusing on reading and math skills, for elementary students.
•On-site and remote classes for middle and high school students to repeat courses and recover credits.
While those strategies are aimed at all struggling students, seniors may be a special case.
Almost every year, C-R has an August commencement for students who need summer school courses to graduate. 2021 could be different.
Extra efforts this year, Mr. Barr said, may lead to “the largest August graduation we’ve had.”