A gateway to success for struggling students is being opened by a new program, Gateway to Success Academy in the Savannah-Chatham school district.
30 fifth grade students who were held back for two years or more from the district’s poorest performing elementary schools were entered in the new acceleration program to master basic math and vocabulary skills. Some of the students have clearly outgrown the small elementary school furniture, and are clearly past puberty. They had an intense school year, including weekend remediation sessions for all and daily classes during the first month of summer for those students who needed them.
At present, 10 Gateway fifth graders now meet requirements to be promoted to seventh grade and 13 are ready for sixth grade. Seven were removed from the program during the course of the year, either for behavioral issues or by parent request.
“It took a lot of confidence building and one-on-one instruction, repetition and consistency,” said Melodie Cheatham, a teacher of ten of the Gateway Summer School students.
Students met the fifth and sixth grade standards during their work in the regular school year. Summer students expanded that into seventh grade as well.