Patti Rasmussen

Summer school: There's plenty to do

Patti Rasmussen · May 24, 1997

Ah, Memorial weekend, a three-day holiday from school. Yeah! The students, the teachers and the parents enjoy the break. And while it's a nice reprieve from daily schoolwork and a signal for the beginning of the end of the school year, it's also a time for parents and students to make decisions on summer activities, which for some of us will include summer school.

At the high school level, you will find a new and exciting change in the summer school schedule. For the first time, the William S. Hart Union High School District will offer enrichment classes to enhance the already-established summer school program.

According to Dr. Gary Wexler, director of curriculum, summer school traditionally consists of classes that both senior and junior high school students need to complete for graduation credit requirements, with driver's education-health included.

Wexler notes that last year, while coordinating summer school and fielding hundreds of calls regarding transportation needs, he had an opportunity to quiz parents about fee-based summer school classes. "I'll never forget one parent who said to me, 'You mean for about $200 you'll keep my child busy for six weeks in the summer and he'll learn something?'" said Wexler. Believing in a need to "make omelets out of broken eggs," Wexler contracted the University of La Verne to offer a fee-based summer school program on all high school campuses.

The enrichment program is coordinated by Toni Miltenberger, assistant principal at Arroyo Seco Junior High. Teachers are primarily regular employees of the Hart district, and the program will run concurrently with the state-funded summer school program. Tuition is payable upon registration and will cost $180 per class (5 credits/units).

Enrichment classes tentatively scheduled, based on enrollment, are: dance, photography and sculpture, theater arts, foreign language, all mathematics, science, culinary arts, study skills, SAT & ACT review and keyboarding-Internet. High school and junior high school students will participate in some classes together. Some courses require a $15 lab fee.

Registration must be done in person on a first-come, first-served basis and will take place on the school site of summer school choice. Registration started on May 14 and will continue on May 31 and June 10. Based on the first two days of registration, Miltenberger says there "seems to be a lot of interest." For more information, please call 805-259-0033, extension 228.

Locally, Math Support Services, a private school and tutorial service, will offer an alternative to traditional summer school for students seeking college preparatory math classes. Coursework will reinforce students' qualifications for admittance to a four-year college or university and may be taken for credit with the approval of the student's counselor.

The eight-week summer program will include supervised independent study, overseen by an instructor holding a California teaching credential in mathematics. School district curriculum is used.

Students are required to meet weekly with a tutor for additional help. Owner Peggy Cannistraci believes individualized tutoring is the most effective method of learning. One-on-one tutoring provides an environment conducive to questions and allows full concentration on the material. Group study sessions are also used to achieve program success, and a minimum of 65 hours are required. Accumulation of hours consists of one hour per week spent in a group study session, an hour per week of private tutoring, and weekly quizzes. Tutoring, group study sessions and materials will cost $350. For more information, please call Math Support Services at 805-255-1730.

Wexler believes that with the technical advances that have been made through the Internet, summer school enrichment offered on campuses this year, along with support from local businesses and correspondence courses offered by many universities, students today have a wide range of opportunities to succeed. All they need to do to take advantage of these programs is to contact their school counselor. They have a list available for them and will find just the right classes to fit into our teens' busy schedules.

So, enjoy your weekend. When Tuesday rolls around, remember it's not too early to think about summer school. It will be a good time to make choices on how your students will spend their summer.

- 30 -

Patti Rasmussen's commentaries appear in The Signal on Saturdays.

Click Here to return to the "SCV School Beat" with Patti Rasmussen