PORT ARTHUR —
By Chelsea Henderson
The News staff writer
The Port Arthur Independent School District is offering a new summer program for its kindergarten, first- and second-grade students.
JumpStart, which began Monday, June 16, is a seven-week intensive program, designed to strenghten the reading, writing and mathematics skills of eligible students — those who were failing two or more core subjects or who had missed more than 18 days during the school year.
“The program aims to target kids that really needed the assistance,” Franceska Murray, Travis Elementary School second-grade teacher, said. “We wouldn’t deny any parent who felt their children could benefit from JumpStart, but the program is really to target the kids that could benefit from the extra help.”
Murray and retired PAISD teacher Terri Erwin are instructing second-grade students in mathematics and reading, respectively, at Robert E. Lee Elementary School. Each teacher on campus instructs no more than seven students, so Murray and Erwin are sharing a group of 14.
“It’s amazing what some of them know,” Erwin said. “On the first day, I was going over the rules to make words plural, such as adding an ‘s’ at the end, and this little boy just — pop, pop, pop! — knew everything.
“It’s a wonderful program, especially as a retired to teacher getting to come in and really spend time with the kids and help them learn.”
Lee Elementary is housing the second-grade JumpStart students, while JumpStart kindergarteners attend DeQueen Elementary School and first-graders attend Sam Houston Elementary School. Each campus is also hosting third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students for the yearly Summer Accelerated Program.
“The Accelerated Summer Program is for required and recommended students in order to increase their ability to perform academically,” Trenton Scott, Booker T. Washington Elementary School assistant principal, said. “Recommended students are those who progressed to the next grade level but need additional learning. Required students were not promoted to the next grade, but will — hopefully — be promoted if their summer schooling is successful.”