Summer break just began some area schools, but in West Salem attention is already on students returning in the fall.
That's because the middle school expansion is on schedule to open September 1. The new facility will double the old space and welcome fifth grade to the building.
West Salem Elementary and Middle Schools also received honors from the state for their intervention work on reading. The program identifies students falling behind grade level in reading and designs lesson plans to make sure they're back on track.
"Here's the strategies that are going to work for you and we move to the next one with here is the strategies that are going to work for this person," Superintendent Troy Gunderson said. "Once you are done, you've raised the whole group because you've targeted each person. Instead of saying here's medicine for everyone and you all have to take it whether you're sick or not."
Gunderson also says there's a growing gap between students of poverty trying to keep up.
"Kids who's families are affluent and have access are often times already reading. They've got all these opportunities, they've heard words and an expanded vocabulary and learned how to talk. If they live in a world that's not as vocabulary rich, they come further behind," He added.
They hope to continue to take feedback and improve upon the program further.