Scoring Our Schools: Attempts to fix failing grades with Saturday school

Hundreds of Columbus second and third graders may have to give up their Saturdays in the effort to improve the district's failing reading and proficiency scores. (WSYX/WTTE)

Hundreds of Columbus second and third graders may have to give up their Saturdays in the effort to improve the district's failing reading and proficiency scores. The half million dollar reading academy that starts next year, is just one strategy to prevent a state take-over.

Statistics within Columbus City Schools show Trevitt Elementary School has a two percent proficiency rate in third grade literacy which is the lowest throughout the district. Thirty-one percent neighboring Beatty Park Elementary third graders passed the state's English Language Arts test last year. Beatty Park had 16 students enrolled in the third grade.

Falicia Moon's son, Jaiden, is a second grader at Beatty Park. She told Scoring Our Schools that Jaiden, too, struggles with reading.

"(He struggles with) just staying on task, staying on topic, comprehending what he did just read," said Moon. "Definitely every night, he gets a story read to him or he helps us read."

Since low reading scores are contributing to CCS's failing grades, the district is forking out millions for what they call an "academic surge." One component will consist of the eight-week reading academy to be held Saturdays January through March. The Saturday School will cost taxpayers $500,000 with $170,000 going to staff, $100,000 to transportation and more than $130,000 for breakfast food, snacks and supplies. 850 CCS students will be eligible for the academy.

While Facilicia Moon said she will be sending Jaiden to the academy, the second grader told Scoring Our Schools that he can think of better things to do on a Saturday.

"Play and recess," he said.

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