Eligibility for Summer SchoolHow many of you have kids who come right out and tell you that they aren't going to do any work during the school year because they are "just gonna go to summer...

Eligibility for Summer School

How many of you have kids who come right out and tell you that they aren't going to do any work during the school year because they are "just gonna go to summer school"?  Is summer school such a problem in your area as it is here?  We have kids who just show up every day, some teachers only play movies (and sell soda and popcorn!!), and the kids get As on their transcripts!! 

How might we be able to hold kids (and summer school teachers!!) accountable?  I'm all for using an effort grade (on a scale of 1-4) to determine if a kid should be allowed to go to summer school or if he should sit for another year in the classroom.  What really gets me is that there are a LOT of smart kids who are just too LAZY to work and opt for the easy grade.

What do your schools do?

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have a worse scenario for you. My district is on a modified year-round calendar, which means we are in school for nine weeks and off for two, with a nine-week summer break. During the two-week breaks, the first week is what we call intersession. We use that intersession for students who are failing to bring their grade up to passing. So we have a lot of kids who coast through the first nine weeks knowing that they can catch up during intersession. It's very frustrating and more work for the teacher to have to put together the work for those students to do during intersession that they should have done the first nine weeks of school.

We do have summer school, but it is very expensive, over $400 per course. We use distance learning, meaning the students must have internet access. The money and computer access really discourage reliance on summer school.

This year we've started a new program. A local software company has developed a program called A++ as a credit recovery system. If a student fails a core subject, such as English, rather than have that student retake the course, the student must attend afterschool A++ sessions, which are monitored by a facilitator, and do whatever lessons the program offers until he or she is able to pass. The student can only get  a passing grade, so it is not a way to improve the GPA but to earn a credit. We're hoping it will help lower our dropout rates too.

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

EEEK!!!  That is awful!  The kids at our school only sign up for summer school if they plan to work very hard for 8 weeks.  They come in for 3 hours a day, 4 days a week, have quizzes and tests...I mean, it's a very intense time because we feel obligated to get them through as much of the normal school-year curriculum as is humanly possible in 8 weeks.

We also have kids who attend other schools come to us for tutoring over the summer.  Sometimes they just need some extra help on math skills, or their parents want them reading, reading, reading, and they know they can trust us to do have them doing that.

I'm sorry to hear that you struggle with this.  If teachers and administrators aren't showing students the value of hard work, how on earth are they supposed to learn?

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We too have A++ for credit recovery -- and it is a joke.  The students do a few activities on computer and they receive credit only for a failed class.  We have a few students who, like the first post stated, fail to do any of the real work in a class, knowing they can make up the credit in a much easier setting.  Yes, this helps some kids graduate, but it is really a shame that they don't learn any of the content of our curriculum.

For the English department, we have gone to only offering a grammar and word origins elective that can be effectively taught in  summer, and course make-ups for failure of the 2nd semester of an English class.  We feel we can do a fair representation of the year-long curriculum that way.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

#3: Sounds interesting, linda-allen. It would be good to know if this actually makes a difference or not. Would offering only a passing grade be sufficient motivation or a kick up the behind to make students pay attention and work hard during school time? It is rather disheartening - the levels of apathy of students. I wonder whether it is only by getting the parents involved that this can be challenged, so maybe upping the costs of summer school might work.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, I have heard this.  Of course now with budget cuts summer school is often not an option.  I wonder what these kids will do then?  In English in California, students need 4 years to graduate.  That means doubling up on English classes during the year.  My school does not offer summer school, so some are doing that now.  No easy task!