Summer courses provide additional academic opportunities


Several courses through the FCPS Online Campus are offered for students over the summer

Shreeja Tangutur, Unity and Social Media Director

From Tech Adventures Camps to Work-Based Learning Internships, the Fairfax County Summer Learning Program through the online campus allows students to get ahead in the upcoming school and refine their skillset.

Many of the courses offered are made up of live daily lessons in addition to asynchronous assignments for a letter or pass/fail grade. While course cost varies depending on one’s financial situation, most summer classes cost $375 and $475 for those out of the country. ACE Online provides specifics about the variety of course offerings.

“There are a plethora of interesting classes students can take part in during the summer months to gain more knowledge in just a few weeks,” freshman Tina Lin said. “For example, ‘Exploring the Language of Medicine’ provides career development for those looking to earn future skills.” 

A popular course includes Economics and Personal Finance, as this class is necessary to earn either the Standard or Advanced diploma. In the course, students learn about the responsibilities of consumers, how markets operate and how the U.S. is connected to the global economy. 

“Learning macroeconomic policies, such as supply and demand and interest rates are so useful because they apply skills to the real world and your future career,” senior Sharlette Vijoy said.

Those interested can take the class self-directed or non self-directed. The self-directed course takes place from Monday, June 5 to Friday, July 28. On their own, students must read through 14 modules and complete 140 exit tickets, 14 module tests and one final exam. After completion, students receive a pass or fail credit.

 In contrast, the non self-directed course takes place with daily live sessions, assignments and assessments. The course can be taken for a letter grade or pass/fail. 

“Self-directed and non self-directed classes both have their benefits,” Vijoy said. “However, the virtual format of the self-directed course gave me the freedom to complete the lessons at times that worked best for me.”  

FCPS also offers five different math classes over the summer, such as Algebra 1, Geometry and Geometry Honors. As such, many students take advantage of this opportunity to get ahead. The expectation for these classes is that students work six to seven hours daily on their own in addition to the synchronous lesson. Also, several of these classes require the completion of a midterm, final and SOL.  

“There are so many levels of math at school,” junior Rhea Rajmanna said. “For those interested, taking a math class over the summer can help them get ahead and partake in higher math classes such as Multivariable Calculus in their junior or senior year.”

Others choose to be involved in classes that don’t have a large focus on traditional academics. For example, Health and Physical Education 10 consists of a driver’s education unit that focuses on teaching students to become proficient motorists along with a unit that shows how to carry out a crafted fitness and wellness plan. 

“Summer P.E. provides me extra course space for next year and helps me complete the gym requirement,” Lin said. “Also, I think the class can help me stay fit throughout an otherwise lazy summer.”

Furthermore, students may opt to complete a language over the summer months. While FCPS hopes to incorporate more languages, several take either Spanish 2, which focuses on written and oral communication, or Spanish 3, which places an emphasis on crafting complex language structures on a variety of topics.

“I enjoyed taking Spanish 3 during the summer because of the teacher and how well the class was organized,” Rajmanna said. “I got the chance to interact with other students while completing reading and writing assignments.”  

Those looking for more information about the summer courses can visit FCPS to learn more about the specific programs. The website also provides information about different pricing plans and dates for exams. 

“It’s important that students take the initiative to do some form of learning over the summer,” Rajmanna said. “Whether it’s structured, like a supervised course, or self-study, it’s beneficial to do some learning over the summer to help retain knowledge from previous years and avoid learning loss.”