Should my Child Attend Summer High School?

S. Zaimov

Summer high school programs are courses some high school students take during the summer vacation. These are generally taken either for remediation or advancement purposes. In both cases, the students seek to improve their test scores and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Some students benefit from attending summer high school programs in more advanced subjects.
Some students benefit from attending summer high school programs in more advanced subjects.

Students may have various remediation needs that can be addressed in summer high school. Pupils who have earned very low test scores and have failed a grade may have to retake certain courses in order to successfully advance to the next level. In such cases, summer high school is often mandatory, unless the student wants to repeat the entire grade in the upcoming school year. If the pupil is able to bring his or test scores to the required standards in the summer, he or she may be permitted to advance as scheduled.

Pupils that had too many absences during the regular school term may also have to take summer classes. There can be various reasons for such missed school days, such as illness, family trips or moving from one city or country to another. Summer high school courses can fill in a lot of the material the pupil might have missed during time away.

Many students attend summer high school for advancement purposes. Although a pupil may be doing well in school, he or she may choose to use summer classes as a way to prepare for more advanced subjects he or she intends to take in the future. Many students who plan to study for university math or science degrees take these courses in order to be ready for the more difficult material ahead. Summer classes can also add additional school credits needed for graduation and allow the student to earn his or her degree faster.

Summer high school programs are not always confined to the student's regular school. These can be taken at other high schools that provide the exact courses the student may require or may be offered on college campuses. Summer courses can also involve a lot of hands-on experience gained outside the classroom. Field trips may enhance learning through group activities, sports and opportunities to gain leadership skills.

It is important that a student consider his or her needs before enrolling in summer high school. While many mandatory programs take most of the summer to complete, optional courses may last only a few weeks. The pupil should be willing to sacrifice some vacation time for a learning experience that may help develop specific interests and skills.

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