Union students are set for another summer of cash incentives after school board approval on bringing the Summer Journey program back for a second summer.

The school board voted to renew its contract with Catapult Learning Summer Journey for another summer Wednesday, Jan. 17, at its monthly meeting.

Academic success and growth from the program overshadowed the delay of the cash gift cards students received for good attendance, Weinhold said. He noted that Catapult Learning itself wasn’t to blame for the delivery delay but worked to remedy the situation anyway by sending out movie gift cards with apology letters.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Hayes said the academic improvements from summer school alone were reason to renew the contract and that this year there will be different classes and a broader range of topics.

The summer session came to a close at the end of June 2017, kicking off with 1,115 students and ending its run with 940 students.

From an academic standpoint, Catapult Learning pretesting and post-testing scores revealed a 62 percent increase of students answering correctly in language arts and reading and a 173 percent increase in mathematics.

At almost every school in the district, summer testing scores doubled or at least raised by more than 15 percent. At the middle school, for instance, summer school students started the session by answering 182 questions correctly overall. At the end of the session, the students answered 888 questions overall.

Attendance averaged 80.2 percent each day. Enrollment at the start of the session topped out at 1,179 students.

The district had initially set a goal for 1,000 students, which was quickly surpassed. In 2016, summer school only attracted roughly 500 students.