HERMISTON - By holding summer school later than usual, Hermiston school officials hope students won't lose what they gained over the summer break.

The classes take place July 19 through Aug. 13 and are for students who are not performing well in reading and math.

Mark Mulvihill, principal of Desert View Elementary and director of elementary education, said the philosophy is to give students an additional month of school, when they're likely to be more receptive to the idea.

"Last year was our first year doing it and we had a lot of success," he said.

In the past, kids started summer school the week after school let out, said Pat Consoliver, principal of Sandstone Middle School.

"But there is so much that is lost over the summer," he said.

By moving the summer school schedule to July and August, Consoliver said the kids retain much more.

"There is a benefit," he said. "We really notice the difference. They don't lose what they gain."

Today was the deadline for students in kindergarten through the seventh grade to sign up for the 2004 "Jump Start" summer school in the Hermiston School District.

Parents should have recently received information about their children's status at parent-teacher conferences held throughout the district in late March, Mulvihill said.

"The school is for any child not reaching grade level proficiency," Mulvihill said. "Teachers should have communicated that to the parents in the spring conferences."

Students who have been recommended for summer school, but choose not to participate, will receive intensive assistance the following year that could limit their extra-curricular activities.

Programs throughout the year include small group tutorials, literacy blocks and pull-out assistance.

"Each school varies a little bit in what they offer," Mulvihill said. "But most have active programs all year long."

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