By ROB W. ANDERSON
Summer learning is beneficial to all students, whether it’s for credit recovery, learning situations like a driver’s education program or continuing work on academic special education goals.
Tahlequah Public Schools offers several summer school programs for students who need to obtain lost credits in English or Math, learn driving skills and basic traffic laws or prepare for End-of-Instruction, or EOI, retesting. The summer session takes place in the month of June and is held from 8 a.m. to noon, said Tahlequah High School Principal Jeff Thorne.
There are seven different summer school programs currently being held on the THS campus, and students have access to a free breakfast and lunch, he said.
“I have four EOIs - [Biology, U.S. history, Algebra 1, and English 3] - credit recovery, drivers ed and special education,” he said. “I have 11 staff working, plus the [EOI] testing coordinator, and we have just under 100 students involved in the summer programs. Those are typical numbers [from summer to summer].”
The only summer school program that comes at a sort of regular-school year price, or incentive, is credit recovery.
“Credit recovery actually costs $100 per course. So, if you failed a semester of Algebra, you have to pay for it in the summertime. It’s a good incentive,” said Thorne. “The parents can say ‘Why do I have to pay $100 when you had the chance to do this free? Taxes pay for this. Why I am paying $100 for you because you goofed it up?’”
TPS also offers the program for students outside the district, but it costs them $150 per credit.
“A lot of the smaller schools don’t have the means to put together a program,” said Thorne. “There aren’t enough people to make it worthwhile. Hiring staff is expensive in the summer.”
Tahlequah High School senior Jacob Morrison, who is member of the Class of 2013, is participating in the credit recovery program to gain lost credits in art history and language arts. He emphasized the importance of getting the grade during the regular school year session, as he is spending part of his first summer after graduation in the same building meant to be in his rearview mirror.
“The school year should be taken seriously,” he said. “You don’t need to go to summer school would be my advice to younger students. [Today] I read through ‘Hamlet’ and a lot of the 17th and 18th century poets. Right now I’m going through Islamic art.”
Morrison is completing the art history and language arts program in part through computer applications, while some details and other summer school programs require a teacher’s participation and correction, said Tahlequah High School English teacher Stephanie Crawford.
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