Districts announce summer school plans

Glendale, Burbank Unified will offer only remedial courses during the term.

February 18, 2011|By Megan O'Neil,

Burbank and Glendale schools will again offer only scaled back summer school programs as officials continue to address reduced state funding.

The pared-down programs mean free access will be granted only to students who need summer credits to graduate. All other students will be charged a fee, and even then, the number of available classes will be reduced.

Burbank Unified plans to provide free credit recovery classes for high school students only, said Jennifer Meglemre, accountability and program improvement coordinator with the district’s instructional services office.


The summer programming will cost the district about $200,000, she said. The district is negotiating with Woodbury University to make advancement classes available, although they would include tuition fees.

“There are a number of kids who are in the choir program or sports whose schedules are so impacted during the year that it really helps them to take a class during the summer,” Meglemre said.

In Glendale, free credit recovery classes will be offered to middle and high school students who need to graduate, said Glendale Unified Assistant Supt. Katherine Thorossian.

The Glendale Educational Foundation will supplement summer school by providing tuition-based enrichment courses, but that could mean $375 for a 10-credit course and $190 for a five-credit course, she added.

Students who receive free or reduced lunches may be eligible for a discount.

“Last year, the district saved just over $950,000 by using this model,” Thorossian said. “Our recommendation is, until the state funds summer programs that we continue with this model.”

Traditionally, public schools offered free summer school courses for advancement and to make up credits for graduation. Middle and high school students who failed a class during the year had the opportunity to retake it, while those looking to jump ahead could squeeze in extra credits.

In 2009, Glendale Unified spent about $2 million on summer school programming, 37% of which was advancement and enrichment classes, Thorossian said.

But summer school fell victim to the red pen as the economic recession spilled into education. Many California school districts — including Glendale and Burbank Unified — have reduced the breadth of free summer programming.

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