School Beat: Summer School

By Eric Cavalli, Assistant Principal, Rockford High School

Thinking of summer school often conjures up feelings of dread.  Historically, summer school meant that you did not pass classes and needed to go to school during the summer in order to regain credit.  While this is still true, summer school can mean much more.  Locally, Rockford Public Schools and MySchool@Kent offer summer education options that include credit recovery, enrichment, and the opportunity to gain additional credits that create new opportunities for students.

Rockford Schools is offering summer courses serving students from DK through 5th grade.  The summer Reading Program is designed for students who would benefit from extra support in reading.  The program is administered by certified instructors who work with students in small groups.  At the end of the program student assessments will be completed and feedback will be provided to parents and teachers in the Fall.  Similarly, Math Too is a summer math program that is for elementary-aged children, taught by certified teachers.  The intent of this program is to reinforce and improve math skills for students as they prepare for the next school year.

The Middle School Mastery option is designed to improve student strengths in math, literacy, and study skills.  This program is designed to support students who failed to earn credit in middle school classes.  Participation in this program will provide students an opportunity to improve both academic skills and their skills as a learner.  The High School Program offerings are designed as credit recovery options.  There is a large variety of classes that students can take in order to address any loss of credit during the academic year.

Another option that students are taking advantage of is taking course work during the summer in an effort to get ahead or create flexibility in their schedules.  Many high school students have realized what college students have known for a long time: taking classes in the summer gives them more choices.  MySchool@Kent offers the option to take classes in an online format over the summer.  MySchool has 400 seats for summer enrollment.  According to MySchool, it is about a 50/50 split between students who are choosing to take classes for credit recovery or for the opportunity to get ahead in curriculum.

With the requirements associated with the Michigan Merit Curriculum, it is difficult for students to pursue elective options they are interested in.  In some instances, they have sacrificed classes they desire versus classes that are necessary to satisfy graduation requirements.  Students may forgo elective options, including programs at Kent Career Technical Center for skilled trade instruction.  In other instances, it is the opportunity to participate in an elective of interest, like choir, band, or theater.  By earning credit in one or two classes over the summer, students are then able to create more room in their schedule allowing them the chance to diversify their academic options.  There are many reasons why students may take classes over the summer.  Now there are many options to meet those needs as well.