December 15, 2014 10:42:46 AM
The Columbus Municipal School District has created a free after school program for students.
The district's After School Academy focuses on offering students academic support, according to CMSD spokesperson Jannette Adams.
The academy is designed to support approximately 270 third through fifth grade students; 90 sixth through eighth grade students; and 53 ninth through 12th grade students, according to Adams.
The program began Dec. 2 at the district's elementary, middle and high schools. The elementary schools operate their programs between the hours of 2:45 and 4:45 p.m. The middle and high school programs operate from 3:45 until 5:45 p.m., Adams said.
The funding for the program -- including teacher pay and transportation -- is being provided by Title I, Adams said. Title I is a federal program that provides funds to school districts with high numbers of children who are disadvantaged. Its overall purpose is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.
The academies will operate through the end of April.
In addition to the free tutoring, a light meal and transportation are provided for all students at no cost. CMSD Superintendent Dr. Philip Hickman said the program is expected to increase student academic performance.
"The district and our principals are excited about providing our students with the new After School Academy that offers so many educational benefits," Hickman said in the release. "Our children are encouraged to learn new skills, receive tutoring and develop positive relationships. This setting after school creates a positive atmosphere which works to increase students' self-confidence, desire to achieve in school, and helps them to take steps to close the achievement gap."
According to the release, the district will monitor the progress of the students participating in the program. The overall goal of the project is to increase student learning outcomes, and increase the district's accountability rating, Adams said. Other after school and weekend activities to assist students, parents and teachers will be introduced in the spring, she said.
For more information about the academy, contact CMSD at 662-241-7400.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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