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Regional Summer School helps students improve academic performance

 Teacher and high school student at computer

Students enrolled in Nassau BOCES Regional Summer School work to improve their performance in core academics and broaden their horizons through enrichment activities, such as music.

Nassau BOCES Regional Summer School (RSS) completed another year of successful programming, helping Nassau County students to improve themselves in everything from core academics to the arts. Since its inception, the six-week summer program has grown to serve nearly 20,000 students through 62 programs in 28 districts across the county. In the past four years alone, enrollment has doubled.

The largest and perhaps most essential component of RSS is credit recovery, helping students who are struggling with the state’s increasingly rigorous common core curriculum to make up what they were unable to complete during the school year. A key element of this is the intensive two-week Regent Review courses, which prepare students to retake the Regents exam in August and improve their scores. With recent changes to the Regents designed to better reflect the common core, more students than ever are retaking the exams. This year more than 1,200 students are using RSS to prepare for the Common Core Algebra Regent Exam.

In addition to critical academic support, RSS offers a full range of enrichment programs for younger students. There are classes in everything from reading, writing and science, to sports, art and music. Adventurous students can explore a variety of interests including television production, cooking and gymnastics.

“The Regional Summer School program enables districts to provide an extended school year for those students who need a variety of supports,” RSS Principal Judith Hynes says of the importance of the program. “Whether it’s the elementary student who needs additional reading support, the middle school student who requires extra help in basic math, or the senior in need of supplemental instruction in order to pass the Regents exams and graduate from high school, it’s extremely high stakes for each and every one of them. Nassau BOCES provides districts with a team of 1,500 dedicated professionals who deliver direct, hands-on support on a daily basis. The quality and cost efficiency of our programs is second to none and districts are eager to provide these opportunities for their community.”

“Regional Summer School provides an important opportunity for our students who may not have mastered coursework over the school year,” says Gerard Poole, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for the Freeport UFSD. “It empowers them to stay on track toward graduation, college and careers. Many students need second chances for any number of different reasons. We are glad that our community supports this important program and could not have a better partner than Nassau BOCES.”

Ariana Fang of the Massapequa UFSD, who will become a sophomore this fall, said that the RSS program helped her to get a handle on her math scores. “I took both the geometry and algebra Regents during the school year and I wasn’t happy with my grades,” Arianna said.

“The summer courses offered through Nassau BOCES helped me to focus. The individual and group work is very important and helpful. I’m convinced that when I take the Regents again this year I will get better grades.”

Fellow Massapequa sophomore Eddie Dmuth said he entered the RSS program because “I wanted to get my grades up.” He wasn’t disappointed. “With each practice Regents that I’ve taken, my grade has gone up. I have a better understanding of the material now. It was a smaller class size, which makes it easier to concentrate, and I really liked the teacher.”