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What happens when you cut summer break short for local students of Cincinnati Public Schools? Hope – something educators across the city believe will bring about a change concerning our students’ academic achievement.

A Fifth Quarter was added to the lineup of regularly scheduled classes back in June to allow elementary students an opportunity to participate in the program. The students ended up spending several weeks with their teacher for the upcoming school year and getting a jump start on new material. Some local schools witnessed enrollment and participation rates as high as 75 percent, according to a statement from Lauren Mitchell, deputy superintendent for Cincinnati Public Schools. The extended summer educational enrichment courses “focused on acceleration for next year, working toward state standards in core areas,” says Mitchell.

Even in the triumphant launch of the Fifth Quarter program, there’s still some room for even greater change. To date, the Cincinnati Public School system serves more than 33,000 students in 58 schools. About 70 percent of the students are black, and 27 percent are white, but like a variety of urban systems across the country, CPS faces stiff challenges.

On Monday, the school board is expected to vote on its budget that could include more than $20 million in cuts for items such as supplements for coaches, school crossing guards and reductions in transportation services. Will this impact Fifth Quarter programming for next year? Or will we see those cuts as soon as school starts later this month? For more on the statistics and details of the potential budget cuts, please visit BlackAmericaWeb.com today.

A great deal is still unknown, but we do know that preparing your child for academic success all year long is never a bad thing. Tell us what you did with your children to continue developing their minds this summer. Did you read books together? Did you visit the art museum together? What educational study habits are you initiating with your own children during the last days of summer break?

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