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Summer of learning

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Summer school.

Two words that bring to mind warm classrooms and the students inside wishing they were somewhere else.

That’s not exactly the case at Federal Way Public Schools’ summer programs, which started June 28 and ended yesterday.

Summer school here is treading in new territory, according to district officials. It’s the only district statewide putting a strong emphasis on improving test scores and students achieving academic standards on a large scale during summer session. Twenty-two of the elementary schools have a summer program.

“I think there are a lot of people watching us,” said Patty Elmer, a co-coordinator of summer school.

About 1,200 students attended the district’s summer school this year. While there is some concern from students about time missed playing video games and being outside, most are reportedly glad to be attending.

Many are working on their reading and writing, reinforcing what was taught during the school year. Others use the time to meet the expectations for their grade level so they don’t fall further behind when regular school begins in September. Four schools are piloting new math programs to help students struggling with the subject.

Summer school this year was extended in length to six weeks from three weeks and from four days a week to five days. At the elementary schools, class started at 9 a.m. and went until noon. Lunch was served afterward.

There was also the traditional summer school at the

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