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KCS: Around 5,100 students enrolled in elementary summer camps, and around 1,560 are rising fourth-graders

Knox County Schools' elementary summer learning camp lasts four weeks and starts on June 5.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox County Schools said 5,104 students are enrolled in their elementary summer camps

This year, a state law went into effect that gives third graders who don't score well enough on a state test the choice to attend summer school in order to move on to the fourth grade. Students who don't go through summer school, connect with a tutor or retake the exam can face having to repeat the third grade.

KCS said 1,563 students in those summer camps are rising fourth graders — around a third of all students enrolled in the program. A spokesperson said that is more than double the typical rate.

The Elementary Summer Learning Camp lasts four weeks and starts on June 5. It will wrap up on June 28. The camp includes seven hours of daily, in-person lessons from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Lessons include instruction in English Language Arts and math, reading and math intervention as well as recess. The camps are free for families and include bus transportation, free breakfast and lunch, as well as pre-camp testing and post-camp testing.

To be eligible to move on to the fourth grade, students cannot miss more than three days of the camp.

The form for parents to appeal their children's scores to the Tennessee Department of Education is also now open and closes on June 30. TDOE said they may grant an appeal if the student received a score at or above the 40th percentile on their spring universal reading screener, or if a "catastrophic situation" occurred during the days leading up to the TCAP exam that impacted the student's ability to perform well.

There are also summer learning camps available for middle schoolers and high schoolers. More information about those camps is available online.

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