Union School District -- stock

For the second year running, a large portion of Union students will be staying in school for the summer.

Union R-XI’s Summer Journey program is set to kick off Monday, June 4.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Scott Hayes said the school district is expecting the same or slightly more than last year’s total amount of students to enroll in the summer school program by its kickoff.

Last year the program, Catapult Learning’s Summer Journey, attracted roughly double the amount that summer school had in the past, totaling out to 940 students. At the beginning of the summer there were 1,179 students.

The district had hoped to surpass 1,000 students for last year’s summer session.

Catapult Learning offers attendance-based cash incentives for students. If a student completes the entire summer program without missing a class that student is given a $100 cash card.

If a student misses one to seven hours, they’ll receive a $75 cash card and a $50 card if they miss seven to 13 hours.

A student’s typical schedule during summer school includes four morning classes that include reading, language arts, mathematics, science or social studies. After lunch, students attend fun courses.

The school also will provide free lunches and breakfasts to students again this year through Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Every 10 days of the summer session, students get a brand new set of classes to attend.

The program will run for a few days less than last year. Hayes said this allows students to have a break before heading straight back into school.

The program has been hailed for its help with students’ academics in the normal school year. Catapult Learning pretesting and post-testing scores revealed a 62 percent increase of students answering correctly in language arts and reading quizzes 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. Last year, 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.

Hayes told The Missourian that success is a major reason the district wanted to move forward with Summer Journey.

The last day of the summer school session will be June 29.