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Summer school is back in Chico for local high school students, who need to take advantage of the opportunity.
High school students in Chico who have fallen behind in class during the school year have had limited options to make up their school work for the last seven years. But this year, summer school for those students is back in session.
For many high school students, summer is a time to unwind and enjoy spending time away from the classroom
But for more than 100 students, summer time is a chance to get back on track to graduate.
For the first time in seven years, the Chico Unified School District is offering summer school for four weeks.
According to district officials, summer school had to be canceled because of a lack funding, now after laws have changed, summer school is back on.
“The reason why we were able to bring it back is some legal changes to the way to how title I funds were authorized to be spent,” said David McKay, Director of Secondary Education for CUSD.
During the years the district was unable to provide summer school, students who fell behind either entered an independent study program or had to transfer to Fair View High School.
Now, with an even stricter district graduation policy which allows for students to fail one class and still be able to graduate, summer school is as important as ever to ensure students are graduating on time.
“Summer school with its 10 credit ability to earn really provides that opportunity to kids to stay connected in a four week period of time and stay connected to their school, it's huge,” McKay said.
Classes just ended their second week today and will wrap up in the middle of July.
Teachers said the smaller class sizes of summer school offers teachers a unique opportunity to connect with students on a more personal level.
“You really get to sit down and get the stories behind these kids,” said Pam Jackson, a physical education teacher at Fair View. “You can spend the time and get the history and the kids start caring more because you care more.”
With the re-implementation of summer school, McKay says he is looking forward to seeing the impact it has on referrals to alternative schooling.
“It will be interesting to see with summer school if referrals to alternative education because of deficient credits will go down, I think it will,” he said.
And keeping students in their original schools with their friends is an important step in helping them graduate.
Mckay says with the increase in funding and the so far positive feedback from students, he is confident the district will continue to offer summer classes in the coming years.