What is Unique About Summer School?

What is Unique About Summer School?
Jenny Niwa

Why should students attend summer school? Taking a look at what makes summer school unique and the benefits of taking classes.

More often than not, when people say that they will be attending summer school, the instantaneous reply would be, "Do you have to make up for any of your absences or tardies from the school year?" or "Did your parents force you to take the classes?". It is not unusual for someone to feel sympathy for a person taking summer classes because instead of having fun at the beach and spending time with their friends, they are stuck in a school where they have to learn and study. Though there are some students who do have to take summer classes, there is an increasing number of students who apply for the summer program because they want to. What is it that makes students want to take Summer classes? Why is it useful for the student to go to Summer School?

Many classes that are available in the summer program have immediate benefits to many of the students, attracting students to take the course. One class that is centered for upcoming seniors and juniors is the Extended Essay course. The extended essay is a significant aspect of the IB program that requires effort and time to complete, especially for the seniors. This class enables the students to develop the quality of their EEs and have it finished by the end of summer. With these benefits in mind, many students who chose to sign up for this class did so because they wanted to. When asked why she took the class, Kristy B. a rising senior expressed, "Through the three weeks, I get to focus on the EE entirely and I believe that the outcome of getting my EE done will greatly benefit me in the upcoming year." Another class that shows great benefit is the SAT prep course. For the high school students, the summer SAT class allows them to start studying for the standardized tests that are required when applying to colleges. 

Summer classes are a good way for students to develop a specific skill that they feel needs improving. For the elementary students, both English and Mathematics are taught in preparation for their upcoming year, helping them to develop their skills beforehand. Summer school is unique in that teachers make sure that there is a balance between having a productive lesson and making sure that it doesn't follow the demands of what the regular school entails. As the summer classes promote more freedom in comparison to the regular school year, the students are able to grow as learners in a comfortable environment. The pace of the classes also tend to be a lot slower than normal, so it enables the students to study at their own desired pace.

Not only does summer school help students with academics, but it is also a place for students to meet new people. For many of the elementary students, they have the opportunity to interact with students who might not have been in their class in the previous year. These students can also meet either older or younger students in their combined afternoon sessions of art, ICT, and sports. Similar to the elementary students, middle and high school students have combined classes consisting of varying grades where they are able to make new friends. Summer school promotes an environment that allows a higher chance of connecting with students from a different grade which is a quality that makes Summer school unique. 

Regardless of whether the decision to do summer school was required for the student or not, the experiences and knowledge gained from the three weeks will most definitely be an advantage for the student. They will come into the next year of school with more confidence in their skills and be excited to expand on their learning. There is also no doubt that the friendships that are made through the summer program will continue to grow when school reconvenes in the fall. It is evident through the summer program that the theme of "Learning to Love, Loving to Learn" is not just limited to the regular school year. It is a concept that is continuously within the learner and expressed in various ways through their actions. 

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