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Summer School Starts in Odessa

Students who fail the STAAR exams in 5th and 8th grade must attend summer school until late June.
ODESSA, TX, (Local Big 2 News) - West Texas high school students have one last chance to pass the STAAR exams later this month. Summer school starts this week at Ector County ISD, giving students who already failed the exams twice another chance to succeed. Feeling locked up in summer school is a dreaded thought for many students. However, it is a critical time to get students caught up.

"You're able to provide a little more intense, focused instruction for them," says Austin Montessori Elementary School Principal Crystal Castillo.

"They can individualize their instruction based on grades," explains curriculum coordinator Erin Bueno.

Castillo says only having a handful of students per classroom in the summer allows more personalized one on one attention compared to the school year.

"It's a little easier when you have 5 or 7 or 10 kiddos versus a classroom of 22 students," she says.

Once students finish summer school, they have a third chance to pass the STAAR exams.  Students who do not pass must face a grade placement committee made up of parents, teachers and administrators. The committee decides whether those students move on or stay behind.

"We try to look at the overall performance of the kiddo throughout the year, not just based on that staar test," Castillo says.

Despite its bad rap, Bueno says students take summer school seriously.

"They know how important it is, and so students understand that they're here to learn and take and attempt the test one more time," describes Bueno.
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