East Aurora eighth-grader Vanessa Shea admits she is no math whiz, so she wasn't exactly thrilled to be invited to attend summer school.
"I was shocked and thought, 'Oh, my gosh, there goes my summer,' " she told the East Aurora School Board Thursday night.
But the experience turned out to be positive and one she said she would do again without a second thought. Already, board members and Superintendent Howard Smith are considering expanding funding for the district's summer school programming for the upcoming year.
"I really know I'm going to do better this year because I took the summer school course," Vanessa told the board during a report on the districtwide summer school programs. "Math has never been my strongest subject, and I really recommend (the program). I would do it again."
Sixth-grade teacher Greg Smorol, who helped teach the program, said school officials were nervous about whether they would have a decent response to the program but ended up deluged by the response.
"It had to be rewarding and fun, because they were giving up part of their summer," he said.
In all, 181 students participated in the district programs among its four schools -- with language arts and math being their primary focus, reported Lynn M. Fusco, director of curriculum, instruction and personnel.
The programs were geared to help students prepare for state assessments and to master courses they didn't grasp in their previous grade level, she said.
"Parents and students were very satisfied with the programs . . . ," Ms. Fusco said. The ratio was generally one teacher to 10 students.
While the principals of Parkdale and Main Street Elementary schools also reported success in their summer school programming, the high school programs, new this summer, had comparatively lower participation.
"We didn't get as many to participate in English as we would have liked," said High School Principal James Hoagland. "By and large, we were disappointed."