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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Summer school meant for make-ups

Due to budget cuts, this year’s summer school classes, held at Los Gatos High School from June 27 to Aug. 5, will offer only remedial or make-up classes.

The high school summer courses will offer just eight classes: Algebra 1, biology, earth science, English 9-12, geometry, U.S. history, and world history. The classes offered are only those that students must pass to graduate, as opposed to previously offered elective courses, such as Art 1 and 2. At first glance, this situation seems like a blow to students’ opportunities, but on closer inspection, it will allow students to explore more options.

Because budget cuts have been inevitable, it is practical to make cuts in extra summer school programs, as they are not essential. Also, there are numerous alternatives to high school summer school, as well as options for challenging students academically.

This lack of selection of classes has led many students to instead register for classes at West Valley College or De Anza College. Students must be 16 or older in order to register at the colleges, which has prevented younger students from registering for classes.

The classes offered at colleges present a larger range of more advanced classes compared to classes offered at the district high school.

College courses thus allow academically ambitious students to challenge themselves, while students who need to make up work in the summer are in a less stressful environment.

Another significant change is that students are no longer able to skip yearlong courses by taking summer classes. In the past, students were able to get ahead by skipping lower level classes, getting credits needed for graduation, or padding transcripts with extra courses. Two years ago, the school offered classes such as Health/Driver’s Ed, which allowed students to get ahead.

Because the school’s budget cuts are likely to continue, it is practical to make cuts in the high school summer program, as there are still numerous courses for students in college summer courses.

A factor that some students may find frustrating is that registering for college courses appeals to a wider range of students and may result in a student not getting their preferred class.

However, by submitting forms early or on time, students should be able to receive the classes that they wish to take, as the factor of a larger pool of students is not extremely significant well before the application deadline.

Also, by allocating high school summer courses for make-up classes or remedial work, students who need to take summer school will feel less pressure from other students who now go the college summer school option by choice.

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