Grants provide extra learning opportunities at Clairton schools
Clairton City School District's education programs do not stop after the last bell of the school year rings.
The district offers summer tutoring to students headed to third through eighth grade and a high school Keystone enrichment program for upcoming sophomores and juniors. Both programs are funded through the Heinz Foundation.
The district is involved in a pilot program through the YMCA for incoming first- and second-graders called the Y Readers Program. The new initiative is funded by a $30,000 grant from the YMCA. Clairton is one of 40 schools in the nation to receive the grant.
“It's all reading,” second-grade teacher Jennifer Schlata said. “Our morning is a four-block model, which consists of guided reading, writing, working with words and self-selected reading. In the afternoon we have all enrichment activities, which include physical education, character education, art and music.”
Students in Y Readers are growing caterpillars into butterflies and they have field trips.
“We've been learning about nouns and syllables,” said Amiere Jackson, 7. “It's very fun.”
Amiere said he is entering second grade and likes to read books.
The tutoring and reading programs are to prevent the loss of skills over the summer.
“We're just keeping them right where they need to be on the grade level so hopefully they'll catch up right where they left off at the end of the year prior,” Schlata said.
District spokesperson Alexis Trubiani looked into programs offered by the YMCA.
Clairton teachers and aides are running the Y Readers Program.
“We have a model that we have to follow,” Schlata said.
High school literature teacher and Clairton Education Association president Jodie Harriman helps to instruct the Keystone program, which focuses on math, literature and biology.
“These kids were close to but not proficient (on the Keystone Exams),” Harriman said. “We offer a diagnostic program so that we can help them overcome the barriers that they had on the previous test. They should be successful when they take the test at the end of July ... It targets the areas they were lacking. We use released test items from the Keystone (Exam), which are the best methods of practice. We also use Study Island. It's a computerized program that's aligned to the common core (curriculum).”
Students will be able to take a retest, and will not have to take the test again if they pass with proficiency.
Junior Khalil Berry said he signed up for the program for the retest option and is learning the same information he would be in a regular classroom setting.
Roughly 75 students participate in the summer tutoring program offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.
The Y Readers Program serves 26 out of 32 eligible students Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Approximately 50 students take part in the high school program Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.
District data/testing coordinator Angela Cooper said she has seen a lot of improvement in students who participate.
“We have a pretest before summer school to determine where their needs are,” Cooper said. “At the end of summer school we test them again ... In the past, students have increased their scores, Whether it's by moving to a different performance level or within that performance level, they have gone up several points depending on what the teacher is teaching at that time ... I have seen so many more students in the advanced stage than I have ever seen in all 34 years of being here.”
The impact of the Y Readers and the Keystone programs will not be known for awhile because they are new initiatives.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Charity helps dozens of McKeesport area children in need get new shoes
- Munhall garbage collection rates to increase
- McKeesport Area student’s Project Christmas expands in 2nd year
- McKeesport nonprofit, Youth Works ensure Allied Health students can continue training
- Brass plaque stolen from McKeesport veterans memorial
- Munhall’s $8.3 million spending plan has no tax hike or furloughs
- Greensburg pit bull advocacy group plans fundraiser in Homestead
- Clairton students reference positive ‘Frozen’-themed lessons
- North Versailles Township approves $6.79 million budget that keeps tax rates flat
- Elizabeth Forward marks 35th year of senior holiday breakfast
- McKeesport Area fourth-grader thrilled with gift from White Oak Lions Club