Students are taking advantage of more evening classes offered by high schools, as a means of accommodating their work schedules and the teenage need for more sleep.
Night schools is increasingly common among high school students, who want to graduate with their peers or ahead of the rest of the class. Whether they need extra help, or want to accelerate their graduation, high school students are embracing the options that night school introduces to their lives.
Paradise Valley Unified School District has opened a school for called the Sweetwater Community School in north Phoenix, which offers night classes. The school has 200 students and offers day classes for sixth through twelfth grade and two night class blocks for high school students.
Many students could fall through the cracks of traditional learning settings, but with alternative education, students can have a greater chance of success.
“When we went to school, everybody went to their neighborhood high school, and you went from 7 to 3 or 7 to 2:30,” Principal Jean Scharrer said. “Well, that’s not the way kids work today. They have jobs. They have families. They have a lot of stuff going on, and so we’re hoping to create opportunities.”
Sweetwater offers traditional classes at night, including English, math, art, history, and science. According to Scharrer, there is a possibility that an intramural program and new electives may be added, which would further expand the offerings at the school.
The school is open to anyone who wants to enroll. Students within the district have access to both night and day classes for free, and students outside of the district can register for night classes for $199 per class.
Though these alternative programs aren’t always the first choice for students, students are often surprised by how much they like the school, said Dawn Woods, the night program facilitator at Sweetwater.