Summer school expands at SACS
17 Mar 2021 — Journal Gazette
Ashley Sloboda

Southwest Allen County Schools is planning its most expensive summer school program in recent memory.

The school board Tuesday approved the administration's plan to offer an array of courses : including variations of English, social studies, science and math : taught by almost 60 licensed teachers at an anticipated cost of $326,900.

In comparison, summer school program expenses have ranged from about 60,000 in 2012 to 136,280 in 2019, according to information provided to the board.

The higher estimated costs are due to the pandemic and knowing students will need credit recovery over the summer, said Lynn Simmers, assistant superintendent.

The Indiana Department of Education reimburses up to 105% of eligible costs. Since 2012, the state has reimbursed at least 88% of the district's eligible summer school expenses, and for six years the net cost to SACS was zero, according to the provided information.

Simmers doesn't expect the full reimbursement this year, "given that there's going to be needs across all public school districts in the state," she said.

SACS expects to know its level of summer school reimbursement by May 14.

The district intends to fill any funding gaps with federal coronavirus relief funding, Simmers said. The state education department announced last month that SACS' second pandemic-related allocation totaled about $1.4 million.

Fort Wayne Community Schools also plans to invest federal coronavirus relief money in a summer school program serving all grade levels, including high school students needing credit recovery. FWCS : a district of almost 30,000 students compared with SACS' 7,700 : was allocated more than $42 million in relief funding.

SACS also plans other summer offerings, including enrichment courses, that are ineligible for state reimbursement. They are self-funded through fees or tuition.

In other business, the board received an update on the 169 million Homestead High School renovation project. Expenditures through Feb. 28 total about 12.4 million, or 7.4% of the budget.

A representative from the Hagerman Group, the construction manager, shared photographs and drone footage of the progress on areas including outdoor athletics facilities and footings in the auditorium area.

While the overall project remains on schedule, an athletics building going up near the stadium won't be ready for the upcoming football season like officials hoped, said Jim Coplen, the district employee acting as project manager.

Teams will use an area in the Ninth Grade Academy as a locker room instead of the Cleat Sports building, Coplen said. Cleat Sports will house locker rooms, coaches' offices and a spirit shop.

This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"Summer school expands at SACS" Journal Gazette 17 Mar 2021: C1