PHOTO: Secondary summer school requires enrolled students to demonstrate C level proficiency before being released.
By Liliana Ma,
Summer school consists of two sets of three weeklong sessions during which students who have failed required courses can ameliorate their grades and gain credits for the classes they took during the normal school year.
The Davis Joint Unified School District’s website cites that summer school “is designed to develop crucial skills and content knowledge necessary to meet minimum standards.”
If a student has a D or F in a mandatory-for-graduation course, such as a social science or English class, their counselor will advise them to enroll in one of the sessions to bring their grade to a C or higher.
The two sessions are both held on the Davis High campus but are rarely taught by DHS teachers. The classes are only available for students who are going to be in grades 10 to 12 the next school year.
Class sizes vary but are often small, depending on how many students enroll. After students sign up, teachers apply to teach the classes.
“I believe we had about 300 to 340 students last summer. The number of teachers is dependent on our courses, and if teachers work one session or both sessions of a class. Our teachers range from 11 or 12 to as many as 18 or 20 . Each summer is different based on enrollment,” summer school Principal Kellie Sequeira said.
In previous years, the district has offered enrichment classes for students who wanted to take classes to gain credits for their graduation.
Recently that has not been the case, and the program has been reduced to remediating courses. However, students have expressed interest in the possibility of enrichment classes.
Junior Jessica Bennett has taken online enrichment courses but wished that DHS provided them.
“It would be a lot easier because I had to pay money to get the course and then I also had to pay to contact certain professors that were on those online courses,” Bennett said.
It’s easier for Davis students, as there is the satellite campus of Sacramento City College in Davis available to provide classes. Woodland Community College also offers summer courses that high school students can take to gain credits towards high school graduation.
“It was a couple years ago when they still had enrichment courses,” Julie Clayton said. “But now the opportunities have become less and less.”
This is due to the lack of funding on the state level.
“The State of California does not specifically carve out funding for summer school. DJUSD is paid through the LCFF State formula based on our school year enrollment and attendance, so DJUSD must factor in the funding for any summer school classes from the General Fund—given the tight budgetary times, we prioritize the courses that will support academic interventions and getting students on the path to graduate (or A-G eligible),” DJUSD public information officer Maria Clayton said.