Palmerton Area School District plans to alter its summer reading program at its elementary level.

The school board was apprised of the change to the program by school psychologists Meghan Garrett and Robert Palazzo at a workshop meeting on Tuesday.

Garrett explained that the district had utilized the Summer Skills Sharpener Program the past several years.

Due to cuts in grant funding, the district plans to instead use reading requirements with a recommended book list, as well as a book bag to encourage summer reading.

As part of the new approach, the district would give out books to students in grades 1-6 to take home.

Palazzo noted it's important for students to "keep and grow their reading skills."

Those students will receive a book bag with three to four books at their independent level, as well as one book at their instructional level, Palazzo said.

Palazzo added the plan would be to give the students their first book bag in May. They could then exchange them during the last week of school, and would be able to exchange them every week in the summer.

Also on Tuesday, the board learned Study Island may be implemented at Palmerton Area High School in time for the 2013-14 school year.

Sherrie Fenner, director of curriculum and instruction, said the program would span two years, at a cost of $2,600 per year, for a total cost of $5,200.

Fenner said Study Island is part of a consortium program with the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, and would be paid for through Accountability Block Grant funds.

Study Island would be for students in grades 9-11, said Fenner, who added the program is currently offered at the elementary level buildings, as well as junior high school.

In an unrelated matter, Fenner discussed the district's possible involvement in a one-year contract with the CLIU for the Pennsylvania Electronic Teacher Evaluation Portal.

Fenner said the program would cost the district $3,474, and would be paid for from out of the Race To The Top grant.