Despite being in a different bustling building, Dutchess BOCES’ Regional Academic Summer School, or RASS, is conducting business as usual.

The program, which started July 10, is designed for high school students from BOCES’ component districts and the Alternative High School (AHS) who need to finish out a course such as English or Global or US History and then take the Regents exam in August so they can either graduate or move on up to the next grade level. This year’s program has 45 students enrolled.

“Our hope is that every student who sits for one of these Regents exams will pass it,” Executive Director of Special and Alternative Education Denise Dzikowski. “We’re excited to see them finish up in August.”

Dzikowski expressed gratitude to Salt Point Center Principal Melissa Murphy for allowing the program to be held in her building, as electrical work was being completed in AHS and the Career Technical Institute during the week of July 17.

“It’s been integrated very well,” Dzikowski said.

Dzikowski has noticed students have been engaged in what they are working on and said they are given practice tests in preparation for the real thing. Additionally, the smaller class sizes allow for more individualized attention.

“The students really need to be willing to give up some of the summer to come and do this,” Dzikowski said. “The students that are here are highly motivated to be successful because they want to move on to that next grade level.”

Dzikowski has one piece of simple advice to students in the program. 

“Show up each and every day ready to embrace the learning and be ready to go,” she said.

Landon Eaton, a soon to be senior from the Red Hook Central School District, has found the program beneficial in preparing for the English Regents, a subject he has struggled with. He thanks his teacher Donald Pollard for his help.

“I love my English teacher here,” Eaton said. “He is super calm.”

Eaton, who is also enrolled in the welding program at the Career & Technical Institute, recommends future students in RASS to, above all else, do their best.