Data on SPS Saturday Academy Data shows changes for current year

Published 5:58 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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Suffolk Public Schools is offering students a chance to either catch up or accelerate their learning in several subjects again this year through its Suffolk Public Schools Saturday Academy

At the Thursday, Feb. 9 School Board meeting, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Okema S. Branch provided a presentation on the academy program, providing the board with data from the 2021-2022 year to the current 2022-2023 school year.

“Saturday Academy was launched last year designed to support our students through remediation as well as acceleration,” explained Branch. “So, we prepared a process where students would get the same information that they had just learned and have our phenomenal teachers provide hands-on engaging interactive instruction for them on Saturday to reiterate that learning and provide some more intensive support where needed.” 

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Presenting the program setup, the presentation focused on four components of Saturday Academy: Instructional focus and pacing (recent instruction and remediation on skills held in an interactive process); staffing (SPS school staff including administrators, teachers, and safety monitors); locations and logistics (Elephant’s Fork Elementary providing the K-5 program and King’s Fork High School providing the 6-12 program with parents providing transportation); and registration and schedules (bi-weekly with online registration, communication with parents and the max class size of 15). 

“Our SPS Saturday Academy has a class max of 15,” Branch said. “We really want to have that small group setting and it also allows those teachers to work with even small groups within that 15.” 

In data comparing in-person academic offerings for 2021-2022 to 2022-2023, science 6-8 and algebra II were changed to science 7 and geometry respectively due to low attendance, she explained in the presentation.

Virtual academic offering changes from the previous school year to the current include English 6-12 to 6-11, math 6-8 to math 6, science 6-8 to civics 7, algebra II to world history, and the omission of Spanish I. Virtual, which was previously offered by academic partner TutorU, is now offered by SPS grade/content teachers.

Further data was provided on the academy’s previous and current year: 

  • Sessions increased from 10 to 13
  • Courses offered decreased from 25 to 22
  • Student totals increased from 1,287 to 1,366 (to date)
  • Face-to-face elementary students increased from 430 to 529 (to date) 
  • Face-to-face secondary students saw a decrease from 648 to 532 (to date)

For all students, face-to-face decreased from 1,078 to 1,061, with virtual seeing an increase from 209 to 305 (to date). Elementary virtual increased from 107 to 198 with secondary virtual increasing from 102 to 107. 

For more information on Saturday Academy, go to


Editor’s note: Updated first passage at 9:55 a.m., Monday, Feb. 20, to reflect grammatical corrections.