SF School District’s Summer Climb program has uncertain future

Education

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A program in the Sioux Falls School District that helps kids whose progress might be lagging behind has an uncertain future. The Summer Climb program has been at three elementary schools in the Sioux Falls School District: Hayward, Laura B. Anderson and Hawthorne. It began in 2016, and last year 188 kids took part in June and July.

“Summer Climb program really evolved as a tool to help us take some students who were maybe underserved, maybe in a position to be underperforming through no fault of their own, and really trying to give them some work to help them get caught up to their peers,” Superintendent Brian Maher said.

Reading and math are two skills the program focuses on.

“In the morning they have the reading and math instruction that’s focused, and the afternoon they have activities that help support reading and math, but more community-based programs, field trips,” said Teresa Boysen, assistant superintendent of academic achievement for the Sioux Falls School District.

According to the district, some students had academic gains, but others did not.

“The data shows that we’re making some gains, it also shows it’s not a silver bullet, but we’re making some gains, so I think it’s maybe slow and steady wins the race,” Maher said.

But the program’s prospects for 2020 are yet to be determined.

“We’ll have to wait to see what our federal dollars look like, and we’re receiving information that we might lose some of those dollars, so if we’re in a mode where we have to really tighten up the belt, this would be a, certainly be a conversation piece as to whether or not we continue it,” Maher said.

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