Durango School District 9-R will eliminate summer school for grades kindergarten through eight, the district announced Tuesday.
The school district is trying to plug a $163,000 hole in its current budget because of state cuts. Student enrollment also is expected to drop in 2009-10, creating worries about next year's budget.
District 9-R still will offer summer school for high school students, but only to recover credits.
The district, in a statement explaining its decision, said data from summer school indicates students showed marginal improvement or a lack of consistent improvement.
Many summer school employees were not permanent 9-R employees, which the district said led to inconsistent curriculum instruction.
Given the budget cuts, the statement said, the district "decided that spending funds on K-8 summer school with inconsistent results and curriculum is not in the students' best interests."
Victor Figueroa, 9-R director of student support services, said the district may consider designing an improved summer school program for future years.
"This is going to be re-looked at," he said.
In 2008, about 200 K-5 students and about 18 middle-school students attended summer school. Typically, students were referred to summer school by their teachers to improve in reading, writing or math, Figueroa said.
The district also is cutting a summer after-school program. The district had an agreement in previous summers to pay for some students who qualified for free or reduced lunch to use the Durango Community Recreation Center. That program will not be in place this summer.
For the 2009-10 year, the district is considering increasing "intervention programs" to help at-risk K-8 students.
The elimination of K-8 summer school for 2009 is only the latest cut made by 9-R. Last week, Superintendent Keith Owen said the district may close the Public Information Office after the resignation of Dyan Lee, the district's public relations specialist.
The district also is scrutinizing staffing across the organization.
Owen has said he hopes to cut enough positions through attrition and eliminating one-year contracts and probationary positions that layoffs will not be necessary.
District 9-R and its employee unions will host a community meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Miller Middle School Auditorium, 2608 Junction St., to discuss staffing for next year.