Catch up and get ahead


Caroline Marsden and Greta Pankratz

 The VUSD district has released summer course schedules and opened applications.

With schedule planning for the 2020-2021 school year approaching, many students are looking for options of acceleration or redemption in the summer semester. Some students may recall how in previous years, Ventura High School did not allow summer school for getting ahead, but instead only catching up. Within the last year, this has changed. Now, VUSD will be pairing up with Learn4Life to administer the on-campus courses. 

Learn4Life is a network of nonprofit public schools that works to give students the flexibility and attention needed for success. The summer program will be locally run and tuition free. Classes will be offered July 6 through July 31 and the Ventura High School campus for the uses of high school credit recovery, initial credit, and career technical education offerings, also known as CTE courses. CTE courses enable students to combine both college preparation and real-world workforce skills. VUSD claims that the summer school process offers “more opportunities for [the] students and employees.”

For students who are eager to enrich their transcripts, or those who need to retake classes, the 2020 summer session at Ventura College is also an option. This process takes many steps, including first speaking with a counselor, making an account online, and filling out many forms. However, if it is completed, VC’s many fully online and hybrid classes, meaning both on and off campus may be convenient. The window to sign up for these courses is mid April to early June .

Summer school seems to have a bad reputation among students and as portrayed on TV, because oftentimes the intensity of the classes is dialed back and the educational opportunities are quick to complete.

Senior Alanm Magana noticed the stigma, stating, “It isn’t bad like many think. It’s way better. There’s not that many people on campus which makes it easier to hang out with friends. Plus, classes are way easier and teachers can make it way more fun with less people.”

As of 2016, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43 percent of high school students ages 16-19 attend summer school. In 1984, just 10 percent of this age bracket attended summer school. So, Magana isn’t incorrect to state that many seem to have a negative take on the overall program and experience. According to the Washington Post, as of 2017, Americans had an all time low, 26 percent, confidence in public schools.

Another student shared her past summer school experience. Senior Josefina Medel said, “I have done summer school, going into my freshman year of high school. It was the two easiest A’s I’ve ever gotten. I took Career and Health, with Ms. Fox. She mostly just talked about her life, but it was a great class. I guess the system is effective because I got two A’s.”

Summer school is an effective tool that some students seem to disregard due to its negative reputation. However, it may prove beneficial to take time to talk to your counselor about what is available to you, and what would be wise to consider.