Newport Board of Education votes against allowing students to repeat a grade

The district put new programs in place to help students "catch up."
The district put new programs in place to help students "catch up."
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:36 AM EDT
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NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) - The Newport Board of Education unanimously voted to reject the provisions of a state law that allows students to repeat a grade of school while announcing new programs designed to help students catch up following the loss of in-person instruction due to COVID-19.

The board followed the recommendation of Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Tony Watts in deciding against accepting the Supplemental School Year Program.

The program was passed following the disruption to public education by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to school buildings closing and a year of mostly virtual learning.

According to Watts, the “repeat” program allows any student in grades kindergarten through 12th grade that were enrolled during the 2020-21 school year to request to use the 2021-22 year as a supplemental year to retake or supplement courses the student already has taken.

However, Watts said the district has put in place programs and opportunities to assist students in need of additional instruction, including tutoring, daily interventions and allowing students to take computers and other devices home for additional learning.

“Any students that requires or wants extra help will get it,” he said in a news release. “We will do all we can to get our kids caught up.”

An estimated 400 students have signed up for a summer learning program called Camp Wildcat that will focus on extended opportunities, Watts said.

Camp Wildcat runs from June 7 to July 2 for Newport Intermediate School and Newport High School and June 7 to July 2 and July 12 to July 23 for Newport Primary School.

“We are confident that we have what we need to provide our students with the support they need to achieve academic success,” Newport Board of Education Chairwoman Ramona Malone said in a news release. “If they need intervention or extra help, we are well-equipped to provide those services.”

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