Summer school offers second chance for students


Many students at La Quinta High School will be attending summer school this year, hoping they will be able to raise their grade for a certain class they failed during the school year. 

While teachers and students should be enjoying their summer break relaxing and spending time with their family getting to enjoy themself without the worries of responsibilities, thanks to teachers who are volunteering their time to re-teach the students who fell behind, these Blackhawks have a second chance. 

Summer school starts on Tuesday, June 7 and ends on Thursday, July 14 from 8 a.m. through 1:45 p.m. It consists of two blocks, meaning the students don’t need to take just one class but may take another. 

Each block period is 2 hours and 40 minutes.The first block is from 8:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. and the second block period is from 11:35 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be available to all students who attend summer school.

One thousand students plan to attend summer school and 1400 students that need to come to summer school will be attending this year. 

There will also be a three-week Summer Bridge program that will be welcoming about 180 incoming ninth graders. This program gives the incoming baby Blackhawks a chance to get to know what they will be learning at La Quinta High School. 

The hope is that it will help them feel welcomed and comfortable in their new environment before their first day of school in August. Summer Bridge, as Assistant Principal Nicole Aguirre, said, is just a participation and reassurance program. 

There will be more students attending summer school than last year. Aguirre explained that ever since the pandemic happened, some students have fallen behind in their courses.

There will be 32 teachers teaching during summer school and will be teaching all the subjects that students failed during the school year. Those 32 include paraeducators and teachers who will be teaching incoming ninth graders in the Summer Bridge program. 

“The most common subject for sure is Math 1 because it is an area of need,” Aguirre said. 

Other common classes that students need to remediate are English and science. Many of the students taking classes this summer will be 11th graders.

They usually need to meet all their high school requirements to graduate and remediate any classes that they may have failed over their three years of high school. 

“They have some catching up to do,” Aguirre said. “It’s their last opportunity to do that before their senior year.” 

Last summer was the first time that all high schools at Desert Sands Unified offered their own summer school programs due to the pandemic. This will be the second year that all high schools offer summer school at their own sites. 

During summer school, students will take first semester courses for three weeks and second semester will also last three weeks. Aguirre and Dr. Oron Jackson will act as the summer school principals; each will take on a semester of three weeks. 

Students will also be able to take online courses through Apex, which is an online credit recovery curriculum that allows students to work independently on their Chromebooks and work through the course themselves with guidance from the teacher. Essentially, students can move through courses at their own pace.

“Most students that take Apex online courses will be finishing three through four classes in the summer,’’ Aguirre said. 

There will be some holidays during summer school on June 17, June 20, July 1 and July 4. Students will observe those holidays and so will teachers.

Students will be required to wear their school ID and lanyard to be able to attend summer school. All regular school rules will apply during summer school. 

It is not likely that tutoring will be offered over the summer, as teachers will be able to assist their students during class time. 

“Being in school for six hours and not at a fast pace, you will have a lot of time to get done what you need because you are not moving from class to class,” Dr. Jackson said. “You are with that teacher for a long period of time, so there will be plenty of opportunities for one-on one-assistance.”

The library will be open for only a few days for summer school. They will only be open three days at the beginning of the first semester and three days at the beginning of second semester. Students can check out books, but only the books that are necessary. 

There won’t be any sports activities unless students are retaking a physical education class. 

In the end, the main goal of summer school is for students to relearn previous subjects or to relearn skills that are not fully developed to prepare them for the following school year.