LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - This time of year, you'd expect to find school hallways pretty empty - but that's not true for the La Crosse School District. Halfway through July, dozens of kids are still in classrooms.
Most school districts offer some sort of summer school, and the La Crosse School District is no different. But during these vacation months, teachers say it's a different kind of learning that helps them go one-on-one with kids and identify the areas where they're struggling.
"In the summertime, I can truly sit down with one or two kids and have a conversation about what they know, what they don't know and take 5-10 minutes of time and really help them grow," said Scott Bagniefski, a middle school math teacher for the La Crosse School District.
More than just a fun way to learn fractions, summer school has a purpose here in La Crosse - to keep kids up to speed during those vacation months.
"It absolutely does make a difference," said Lynda Gruber-Suskey, La Crosse's summer school supervisor. "[In our follow-up studies, we saw] a big increase for students, and also saw that growth maintained throughout the school year, the students did far better and were more ahead of where they were the previous year in terms of keeping up with their academics."
"It's a great opportunity for kids beind level performance to get some extra help and that little boost they needed over the summertime to get caught up to grade level," Bagniefski said.
Despite the growth teachers see in their students during summer school, not a lot of kids take part in it - just under ten percent of La Crosse's middle schoolers are enrolled this year.
But Bagniefski says those who are here are learning something in a new way.
"It's fun and challenging and exciting and thrilling - it's not just come here and sit and be read to and be lectured to in math class," he said. "It's hands on fun academically focused activities."
There's still time to sign your kid up for summer school classes - teachers say they'll take students up until the last day. You can find out more information about enrollment at lacrosseschools.org.
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