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Fewer MSCS students at risk of repeating grade after attending summer school

Attendance improved, but the district said about 150 second graders are still facing retention.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At the end of June, Memphis-Shelby County Schools said that 481 of the 4,545 students who needed summer classes to continue to the second grade were not attending the Summer Learning Program, making them at risk of being held back. MSCS plea was alarming to many, but it worked. 

District Chief Academic Officer Jaron Carson said they were able to get 326 of those missing 481 students to attend summer school for the last two weeks. 

Attendance improved, but the district said about 150 second graders are still facing retention.

Although MSCS policy states that students attending summer school must have a 90% attendance rate to be able to move to the next grade level, Carson said some families were not able to bring their children to the Summer Learning Program because they had pre-scheduled summer plans.

RELATED: District TCAP scores released | Here's MSCS full report

Instead, he said students who did not attend the summer learning program will have to complete makeup assignments and take a diagnostic test to get an idea of what they already know. 

According to Carson, students who don't pass the test, will automatically be placed in before, during, and after school tutoring.

In a statement released on June 25, MSCS' superintendent Dr. Joris Ray begged parents to get their students to summer school saying "We want, no we need, the community's help in getting these recent second-graders in class Monday morning."

RELATED: Why MSCS second graders could be forced to repeat grade or go to summer school

There were 8,153 second-graders total, and 56% finished the school year reading below grade level. MSCS said 4,064 students showed up consistently.

The summer program offered intervention and focused learning for students who were struggling to read. It started on June 13 and ended on July 15.

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