Fewer teachers work summer school

Fairfield Curriculum Director Chuck Benge told the school board Monday he was pleased with the growth he saw in summer school, though he wasn?t happy about the attendance.

The district holds summer school for students in grades kindergarten through fourth. It runs for three hours per day, four days a week for three weeks. Forty-three students signed up, and the average daily attendance was 39 (91 percent). Benge hoped it would be even higher because the district had urged parents in a letter to commit to 100 percent attendance.

Participation in summer school was down this year, but Benge said that was because it was hard to find teachers. Those who teach summer school are paid an hourly wage in addition to the salary they receive for teaching during the school year. In years past, the district has gotten enough teachers to accommodate as many as 80 summer school students.

Eight teachers and 10 teacher associates signed up to work summer school this year. Benge said a few of the teachers who did it before have moved away, though that wasn?t the main reason for the decline. He?s still not sure why so few teachers agreed to do it.

This year, the district sent a letter to just over 50 students urging their parents to sign them up for summer school so they could catch up to their classmates. Summer school is free for students. The district provides the students with breakfast, lunch and transportation if they need it. Nevertheless, 10 parents declined the offer.

This year, summer school was later than normal. Benge said it had been right after school was let out in prior years, but the district felt it left a long gap in July and August where the students were not receiving instruction. In an effort to increase retention of the material and to better prepare the students for the fall, summer school began July 23 and ended Aug. 9.

In other news, the board accepted the resignation of assistant girls? basketball coach Meredith Flattery.

?Although I have very much enjoyed my time coaching these young girls to numerous victories on the court, a state appearance, and have developed great relationships, I have accepted a new position and will be relocating to northeast Iowa,? Flattery wrote in her resignation letter.

Bus driver Jeff Abbey announced his resignation, too.

?I have enjoyed driving the children on bus No. 28, and tried to make a positive difference in their lives,? he wrote in his letter of resignation.

Abbey wrote that resigning was a tough decision, motivated by a need to make more money.

?I will miss everyone on your team and will greatly miss ?my kids on bus No. 28,? he wrote.