Thirty six students (more than 20% of our 2012-2013 students) participated in the inaugural CFLA Summer “Smart Start” program, which was offered for three weeks this past July. Four CFLA teachers provided instruction in math and reading, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. Students enrolled in our After School All Stars summer program were then transported to that program site for the rest of the day. The tutoring was offered free of charge to interested students, thanks to generous grants from the Kiwanis Club of Orlando, the TD Bank Community Foundation and contributions from the school and the school’s PTA group, the Friends of CFLA.
Twenty students participated in the reading program, taking pre- and post-tests to measure their learning gains. On the reading tests, the students’ average scores increase by 23.5 percentage points, moving from an average of 59.95% correct on the pre-test to 83.45% correct on the post-test. In Florida, students who score a level 1 on the FCAT must be retained in their current grade unless they can show reading improvement on another test measure sufficient to allow them to be promoted. As a result of their work in the summer program, five students who would otherwise have been retained tested high enough on the post-test to justify promotion to the next grade. Another three students made sufficient improvement to no longer need intensive instruction in the current year.
The gains in math were even more impressive. Of twelve students participating in both pre- and post-testing (some students participated in both math and reading and didn’t take both assessments), the average gain in percentage points was 31.25, with the students’ average correct scores moving from 45.5% on the pre-test to 77% on the post-test. Five students were able to test out of any requirement for intensive instruction in the current year.
ion were pleased to have time to spend with individual students and to offer instruction based on individual needs identified in the pre-assessment measures. With an instructor to student ratio of 1-8, each student received focused attention. The students reported that they enjoyed the educational activities during the three weeks, which were designed to keep the students engaged. The teachers were very satisfied with the student improvement and strongly recommend this as a continuing program at the school.