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Coronavirus

Idaho District Begins Summer School to Address Education Gap

BURLEY, Idaho — School district officials in Idaho have started offering a full summer school program to help students who may have fallen behind academically during the coronavirus pandemic catch up.

In previous years, the Cassia County School District district offered limited summer school to migrant programs or after-school programs, district spokesperson Debbie Critchfield told the Times-News.

“The Cassia School District hasn’t offered open and full summer school programs for any student in more than 20 years and perhaps longer. Those around now can’t recall it outside very specific schools or student participation,” Critchfield said.

Raft River Elementary School Principal Melina Ficek, who is coordinating the full summer program for the district, said it was launched because students who recently returned to school were “further behind than before.”

Officials said 840 students signed up out of an average student population of 5,500 across the district.

White Pine Elementary School Principal Diana Gill said parents were thrilled when the decision was made to hold a summer program. About one in six students out of the school’s 600 students showed up for the first day of summer school Monday.

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