West Orange High School launches first summer school session

Photo Courtesy of WOSD
Eleventh-grader Elijah Brown-Holloway assesses his knowledge of main ideas, themes and context clues by playing ‘Jeopardy!’ in Charlene Muldrow’s English class.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange High School launched its first-ever summer school cohort, “The West Orange Public Schools Summer Institute Credit Recovery,” on July 2.

The program is free to West Orange residents and includes algebra I, geometry, and English 9 and 10. This summer’s course teachers are Lori Bollotta, Young Kim, Charlene Muldrow and Theresa Harris. The courses were extended to students from nearby school districts at a rate of $340 per course, considered competitive with other local school districts.

Two sessions are offered five days a week, the first from 8 to 11 a.m., and the second from noon to 3 p.m. Summer Institute coordinator Dana Peart has reported great success with the program.

“Our enrollment data is quite impressive. We have a total of 57 students enrolled, one of which is from another school district,” she said. “Out of the 57 in-district students that did not pass these math and English language arts courses, 52 of these students enrolled, which is 91 percent of that population. Next summer, we plan to achieve 100 percent participation. Moreover, we have three students enrolled in an additional course solely to increase proficiency, rather than for credit restoration.”

The final three days of the program are reserved for mandatory PARCC testing, giving students the opportunity to pass or improve their previous test scores. The program concluded Aug. 1.

Peart has received positive program feedback from both teachers and students alike, according to the school district. English teacher Charlene Muldrow said, “Despite this being a summer program, students are enthused about learning.”

“The program is very helpful because it gets you to the next grade. It’s like having a second chance,” a math student said.

“It has been my experience that life affords us few second chances and this program is providing our students with just that; an opportunity to recover course credit, as well as remain on schedule for graduation. I am proud of our students because they are working hard and learning, cognizant of the fact that their efforts are an investment in their personal success, as opposed to a loss of vacation time,” Peart said.