School's out for Buena Vista students; officials plan enrichment camp

The final school bell has rung for Buena Vista students. Officials say the school year is over but they want students to come back for a skills camp.

â??I want to say that our teachers have taught extremely well all year long, certainly students have acquired some skills and so now we're going to enhance that and see what happens,â?? says Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill, superintendent of Buena Vista schools.

This plan comes a week after administrators laid off all teachers saying they couldn't pay them for the rest of the school year.

Educators say a skills camp is better than nothing.

â??We went in with a totally different plan than what we came out with. The one we came out with is a whole lot better than what we went in with,â?? says Dr. Richard Syrek, superintendent of the Saginaw Intermediate School District. â??And it's good, if we can get it to work,â?? Syrek cautiously adds.

District leaders say parents are not required to send their children to the skills camp.

Running about six weeks long, administrators want the laid-off teachers to run the camp. Their paychecks would be supported through federal dollars.

â??Iâ??m not sure why teachers should have to interview to continue teaching the students that they were just teaching a week and a half ago,â?? says Sue Rutherford with the Michigan Education Association.

As for seniors, they've got enough credits to graduate.

â??Theyâ??re going to graduate June 4th. They have their prom May 30th,â?? says Dr. Deborah Hunter- Harvill.

The skills enrichment camp is contingent upon school board approval. The board meets Tuesday night at 5:30.

The state superintendent says he cannot release any state funds to Buena Vista because their budget deficit reduction plan is not up to par.