Lee County schools launch 5th quarter program

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Kids are counting the days to summer break. This year, some students are heading right back to the classroom. Lee County is launching a new program to help kids keep up with reading and math all summer long.

“We’re not calling it summer school, we’re calling it 5th quarter,” said Tim Ferguson, Lee County’s director of student-related services.

Fifth quarter will take up seven weeks of summer break from mid-June to the end of July.
Lee County elementary students who scored low on state reading and math exams are invited to attend.

“We’re super excited to ask the kids to come back here for the summer for about 25 days because it will keep the momentum going of everything they learned during the school year,” said Edgewood Academy Principal Laura Trombeti.

The Monday through Thursday program will focus to improve what students have already learned.

“We’ve had a really tremendous amount of parents excited about the opportunity for their kids,” said Trombeti.

The half-day enrichment program will be offered at 10 elementary schools. Breakfast, lunch and transportation are provided. The costs will be paid for with programs that help low income students.

“We have the ability, we have great teachers, we have great activities planned,” explained Trombeti, “so they might as well be here with us.”

The district plans to employ 500 of their highest performing teachers, about 1,900 students are expected to enroll.

“It’s really going to give them the next push that they need going on to the next grade,” said Francesca Berberich, a third grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary.

Students who participate will take a 5th quarter assessment test. Those scores will help the next year’s teacher know where to start.

The 5th quarter replaces the Lee County School District’s free, private tutoring program. The district tells WINK News if they find the program a success, they plan to extend 5th quarter into the future.

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