CLEVELAND - School might be out for the summer, but for dozens of Cuyahoga County teens leaving middle school, the lessons are just about to begin.
They'll be attending the Cuyahoga County Regional Summer Academy to get a jump start on high school.
"Students that take part in our summer program are coming in with more of the skills they need for high school," principal Rick Gurski said. "They're scoring higher in their academic courses in general. We also have some data that suggest they are scoring higher on standardized testing."
The five-week program was created in 2011 after Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson called for more regional efforts to address the needs of at-risk students.
Gurski said the program targets middle-of-the-road B and C students who are often overlooked by other programs. Students are given the skills necessary to succeed both academically and socially.
Educators agree that the transition between middle and high school is critical for students.
"When students that come into the high school setting and don't necessarily find success, it's more than likely if they don't pass the ninth grade the first time around, there's a greater chance of them being a high school dropout," Gurski said.
The Cuyahoga County Regional Summer Academy is held at Tri-C's Metro Campus from June 24 until July 31. It's open to students from public schools throughout Cuyahoga County. Transportation is provided.