Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today visited the P.S. 69 Spring Break Academy where third and fourth grade students are receiving instruction during their spring break recess. Over 7,000 students are expected to attend Spring Break Academies Citywide during this year’s break as part of the City’s overall effort to increase intervention services for struggling students. Spring Break Academies are being offered at over 150 locations citywide — many serving students from more than one school. Programs include small group instruction in reading, writing and math, tutorial test preparation and parent workshops.
“The Spring Break Academy programs illustrate our commitment to providing struggling students with the help they need so they receive the education they deserve,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Through small group instruction, tutorial test preparation and parent workshops, these programs citywide are now helping thousands of students in need of assistance prepare for the upcoming citywide exams. This initiative is part of our comprehensive program to end social promotion, but in doing so, keep our pledge to parents, that no student will be held back unjustly.”
“An essential component of our promotion policy is providing struggling students with intervention and support services,” Chancellor Klein said. “This week thousands of New York City public school students will attend Spring Break Academies to get the extra help they need. Others have been attending breakfast sessions, after-school programs or Saturday school for additional support. I commend the commitment of our students — and thank the many principals, teachers and parents throughout this city who are committed to the educational success of our children.”
Most of the Spring Break Academy programs were created from over $8 million that has been committed to providing additional support to struggling 3rd graders this school year as they prepare for the citywide tests on April 20th and 27th. Other programs are serving struggling middle school students or high school students preparing for exams. Certain schools are also offering workshops for parents to train them in offering support to students at home.
The programs are one component of the City’s overall strategy to provide intervention and support for struggling students, specifically third graders as they prepare for the citywide exams. Spring programs vary from school to school and are designed to target the specific needs of students using small group instruction— usually ten to twenty students. Third grade programs are focused on the development of math, reading and writing skills and include tutorials on test taking strategies. Schools were selected to provide spring intervention for third graders based on the number of students at-risk of not being promoted at the end of June. Programs include tutorials, after-school and Saturday programs, small group instruction and targeted intervention on specific needs of students. The City has committed an additional $33 million to support struggling third grade students this summer.