Summer schools face new challenges this year, as summer camps help students learn to learn. Summer studies are not just for remedial work anymore; they help students develop better study habits for success.
The seriousness of high school studies is not lost on Terrance Moore.
Terrance is a junior at Aloha High School. He fell behind in literature/composition credits his sophomore year. He is catching up this summer in a credit recovery course. Terrance is smart, but he skipped too many classes.
“That was a habit that started my freshman year,” he said, adding that he has no plans to skip in the future.
“I think it had a lot to do with growing up,” Moore said. “High school is more important than you think. This is a job. This is serious.”
Nearly 900 teenagers took advantage of summer classes at all five Beaverton high schools to catch up on credits, get ahead in math or prepare for freshman year. It’s the first time in more than a decade that the district has offered summer school at all of its high schools.
Previously, the district lacked funds for such summer courses, but an experiment by Westview High School counselor Kacey Farrens and an assistant principal Greg Therrien last summer proved the programs can pay for themselves, if students are charged a fee.
Westview also kept tabs on the summer-school students during the regular school year and found they improved academically. That sold district leaders on the idea and they added the summer programs to the 2014-15 budget.
Each school received $80,000 to ensure all students, regardless of ability to pay, could attend. Westview covered its costs last year with $80,000 in fees but was unable to reduce the costs for low-income students. The district is covering at least a portion of the costs this summer for low-income students to take part. Fees collected from students will be returned to district coffers, Farrens said.