District 91 summer school is streamlining to have the most effect, Forest Park Middle School Assistant Principal Joseph Pisano told the board, Sept. 12. Two elements of summer school were different this year: It was held at the end of the summer instead of the beginning, Pisano said. That way students could get a head start on school. The new summer school schedule was five weeks, starting in July and ending Aug. 5.

The second change was the summer school program focused exclusively on reading for students K-8. In the past, the district has experimented with a modified multi-subject school day, but Cavallo told the board that didn’t necessarily improve students’ academic achievement and seemed more like a punishment.

Using the AIMSweb assessment testing program, students were tested before and after summer school, and most made concrete improvement, Pisano said.

One-hundred-forty-two children were invited to attend from the district’s “Tier III” students who needed extra help or students who had been classified as special education. Pisano said 76 students attended summer school, which allowed them to get one-on-one attention from teachers.

Superintendent Lou Cavallo said he was confident the district had hit on the right summer-school formula: Focus on reading, give lots of one-on-one attention and hold classes at the end of summer instead of the beginning.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...