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Summer School Initiative Proposed for DODDS

By: Victoria L. Moore

Date Posted: 1998-03-28

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP Okinawa Branch, recently raised a proposal for a comprehensive summer school program on Okinawa. The proposal entails the development of a six week scholastic plan to enhance the academic progress for Department of Defense students.

Proponents of this initiate state that the benefits of such a plan will be felt throughout the entire educational system. They hope that Okinawa will be used as a test base with results used to implemented the plan throughout the entire DODDs system. Department of Defense children endure constant upheavals with relocating and adjusting to new environments and academic structures. They need the advantage of a summer school to reinforce academic competence and to minimize failures rates.

The elementary school students, not performing on grade level would have an opportunity to strengthen their skills and prepare for school in the fall. Students in the middle schools failing two or more classes must demonstrate competency in the subject they failed, rather than simply pass to the next grade. The objective is to hold students accountable for their own learning process, and preparing students for the non-social promotion environment of high school. Finally at the high school level giving students SAT preparation type classes, writing, math and science courses that will strengthen students' skills so they can successfully enter college-track advanced classes.

"Theses are merely a few of the many goals that would be accomplished by this comprehensive plan," states NAACP President, Gregory Moore. "The proposal was met very favorably by both the Okinawa District Superintendent of DODDs, Dr. Steven Bloom and the Pacific Area Superintendent, Dr. Nancy Bresell. We plan on meeting with all of the PTA's on island to get the word out and to rally support for this effort," says Moore.

"Academic achievement in the areas of math, science and English are not at the standard that they should be for a school system that has the resources that our DODDs school have. We as concerned parents can no longer ignore the failures of our children. With the technology and advancements of today's society we can not afford to have our children passed through an educational institute without the process of learning being the primary benefit," said Moore.

The next step for this proposal is to present it to the Director of DODEA, Dr. Lillian Gonzalez, located in Washington DC. They hope that funding will be available for the immediate implementation of the plan. However if there are no funds available they plan to organize a congressional letter writing campaign.

Moore also stated, "We encourage all parents to support the effort. This program is not only for students that are failing but to enhance and increase all students scholastic achievements."

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