Photo contributed by Harini Sethu
As the school prepares for summer learning with the school year coming to an end on June 11, the school staff must make plans to accommodate students. Summer enrichment consists of programs for students to take electives in advance and open up space in their busy schedules, or programs for students to participate in credit recovery. School after the academic period this year will be run on a much larger scale than previous years and will be orchestrated by many members of the school staff.
“Approximately 300 students will be eligible for summer academy,” Assistant Principal Amy Parmentier said. “[Around] 27 of some of Chantilly’s finest teachers will be supporting our program.”
There are a variety of reasons why this year shows an increase in summer school attendees. According to USA Today, class failure rates have surged across the country. The percentage of high school students scoring F’s in two or more classes has spiked to 83%. By the end of the first quarter of 2020-2021, about 10,000 students earned F’s in at least two classes.
“My sense is that more students will be eligible to complete/recover credits this summer due to the unique challenges that students faced this year,” Parmentier said. “Those challenges may have impacted their academics.”
Commonly taken summer requirements are Personal Finance and Physical Education. Although these two are more commonly taken courses, many other classes can be taken over the summer and the comprehensive list can be seen here.
“I took PE over the summer of ninth grade,” junior Harini Sethu said. “I liked it because a lot of it was self-paced and we could set targets for ourselves.”
Summer school’s structure is similar to regular in-person school. Students attend classes that they were assigned or had signed up for and do that class’s coursework. They will then take the necessary exams needed in order to pass the class.
“A range of courses are offered each session,” Parmentier said. “Students have the opportunity to take one course each summer based upon their needs.”
The self-directed nature of online summer courses appeals to many. Students could not only pace themselves, but they could meet deadlines they set for themselves.
“We had the freedom to choose what kind of workouts we did,” Sethu said. “As long as we did a workout of some kind, we were given credit, which is why I liked summer gym much more than during the school year.”
There is no cost for any part of the summer program. Teachers will provide breaks and flexibility to ensure that students can stay on track to complete an entire course in three weeks. Summer school hours are from 8-1 Monday-Friday with breakfast and lunch provided for everyone. Session 1 will run from June 28-July 16. Session 2 will run from July 21-August 6.
“I hope that students who are eligible to attend will see this as an opportunity and not as a negative,” Parmentier said. “We will work hard to make it as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.”