FARWELL, Mich. - Farwell Area Schools reported mixed results from an after school and summer program for students who need academic help or need to make up failed classes, according to The Clare County Review. The program, Students Participating in Academics and Recreation for Knowledge and Success, is coordinated through the Clare-Gladwin Regional Educational Service District.

John Trommater, assistant director of S.P.A.R.K.S., told Farwell school board members that some students who participated showed no improvement, The Review reported, while others made major gains. The goal of the federally funded program is for about half of all participants to improve by half a grade.

While parents surveyed about S.P.A.R.K.S. said their children benefitted from participation, one problem is that only 32 percent of high school students attend regularly, Trommater and Director Carol Westjohn said, according to The Review. "Regular participants" are defined as attending at least 30 days in the school year, including the summer, though Farwell would like permission to reduce that number to 24, to equal the length of its summer program, The Review reported.

The Clare County Review, "Farwell BOE gets S.P.A.R.K.S. update," Sept. 25, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "New high school graduation requirements in action," May 6, 2008