Over the summer, Fresno Unified continued to provide opportunities outside of the traditional school year for students to receive additional support, with 13,561 students participating in the Expanded Learning Summer Program.
Numerous students were able to recover credits and get back on track as they head into the new academic year. Others were able to complete missing graduation requirements and participate in summer school graduation, held at Roosevelt High School's auditorium on July 15.
The district reached a record-high 84% graduation rate for 2015 for the four-year cohort, but the district is continuously striving for every student to make it across the graduation stage.
"We want every single one of our students to leave our district with a diploma in hand and career and college skills that can lead to success in the next stage of their lives," said Superintendent Michael Hanson. "Our summer program is another way of achieving that goal for all our students, giving them a chance to graduate on time."
In addition, incoming ninth grade students through exiting 11th grade students could take original credit courses to accelerate and open room in their schedules during the regular school year for Advanced Placement and career pathway courses.
Along with the credit recovery and acceleration options for high school students, extra help was provided for elementary and middle school students as well during the Expanded Learning Summer Program.
Over the summer, some students can lose much of what they learned during the school year, creating an achievement gap between them and their classmates. The summer program helped to close this gap, giving students the opportunity to continue to develop the skills they learned during the regular school year.
The elementary summer program focused on students who had just finished kindergarten and first grade. This four-week program offered at 29 elementary schools throughout the district was designed to strengthen fundamental reading skills, helping students stay on track to read at grade level.
Additional support was offered for English learners, and special education programs were available for eligible students at all grade levels.
For middle school, the focus was on students needing additional support in mathematics who had completed sixth grade last June. They were able to strengthen their skills while becoming accustomed to a middle school campus.