Art by Hannah Singer

Decrease in summer school course offerings, enrollment

As the district shifts its priority from transitioning students to in-person learning back to credit recovery for upperclassmen, PAUSD summer school’s course offerings will decrease significantly from last year.

Director of Student Services and Supports Guillermo Lopez said last year’s summer school program saw an increase in course offerings because of the role it played in bringing students back to in-person classes.

“Last year’s summer school program was very unique,” Lopez said. “More courses were offered since the focus was to allow students to reconnect to being on campus from being in distance learning.”

With almost a year of in-person learning now complete, Lopez said the emphasis for this year’s summer school program has returned to its historical goal of helping students fulfill their necessary graduation credit requirements rather than providing a breadth of course offerings.

“The courses being offered are for students who are credit deficient to help them graduate on time or get back on track,” Lopez said.

Lopez said with this goal in mind, the number and types of classes offered this year will be limited to only those needed by credit-deficient students, which is consistent with previous years.

“The courses will be offered based on student needs,” Lopez said. “Our current offerings are in line with what was offered every year prior to summer 2021.”

Upperclassmen will have first choice in getting and choosing summer school classes, Lopez said, and summer school staff will see little effect even despite the decreased offerings and enrollment.

“Typically, rising seniors have priority, followed by juniors and sophomores,” Lopez said. “Staff is not affected because summer school is not required for them to work depending on their contract.”

Senior Kirtana Romfh, who took Economics through last year’s summer school program, said while she had the space in her schedule to take the course regularly, she appreciated how taking the course over the summer gave her more free time during the school year.

“It was great having extra space in my schedule to take other exploratory classes,” Romfh said. “For me, that was gender studies, and I know it would have been difficult to manage putting that in my schedule without having the free spot.”

Romfh said because the traditional model being reimplemented this year will not allow for such flexibility, she hopes aspects of last year’s program will carry over into future years, giving a larger proportion of students access to a greater number of courses.

“I personally think the previous plan from last year was better,” Romfh said. “I think many people used their preps to reduce stress or take other classes, both of which make the year more enjoyable.”