Summer school tends to get a bad reputation. With two months of summer vacation, it's hard to convince students to return to the classroom. However, for those motivated enough to stick it out, they'll discover that summer school provides nothing but opportunities to advance their academic careers.
Cardinal Newman student Anthony Navaro can attest to this. Enrolled at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, he's using summer school to upgrade his math from a college to a university level.
While he's unsure of what he's planning to do once he graduates high school next year, he can be sure his options have increased with academic courses under his belt.
Navaro is one of approximately 1,800 students registered for summer courses this year, which are offered at three locations: St. Thomas More, Bishop Ryan, and Cathedral. Each school has a selection of courses from which students can choose.
"Courses are based on need," says St. Thomas More Summer School Principal Anthony Macaluso, noting that some sites double up on courses, like Grade 12 University English.
Additionally online courses for English are offered, giving students an option to complete their credits in a way that suits their schedule and learning style.
In the traditional classroom setting, classes run from 8 to 2, giving students hours of concentrated learning as opposed to a 75 minute class during the school year.
"I like it, it forces you to know the information more because you're constantly working on it," says Cardinal Newman student Gabe Anton.
Anton, who is taking Advanced Functions, is using summer school to reach ahead and free up a period as he prepares to enter Grade 12 in September.
"For me it's a big thing with sports, to make up time. Math is getting heavier, and sports are getting more intense, I'm travelling more. It makes my life a little easier so I can juggle both things if I do math in the summer."
It also allows him to focus on his elective courses.
"I'm hoping to get into Biomedical Engineering," he says, adding that taking math in summer school will allow him to concentrate more on his science courses.
Also reaping the benefits of summer school is Domenic Marrone, a recent graduate of Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary School. Marrone will be entering Grade 9 in September at St. Thomas More and is currently using summer school to ease the transition into high school through the Intergrated Arts course.
The program offers students a unique opportunity to explore art and drama while earning their first secondary school credit. It also gives them a chance to make connections with fellow peers next year so they will know a familiar face in the hall.
But the best benefit of summer school is that it's not all summer. Wrapping up on July 28, students will still get to enjoy a month of holidays before heading back in September.