Summer school programs across the valley are much more extensive this year, including the addition of more programs for middle and elementary school students, and registration is up.
“I think it’s a natural reaction after coming off a pandemic and even though teachers have done an amazing job, I think it’s still, it’s a matter of, you know, this is why we have school. Right? It really makes you step back and say this is really, the in person instruction is so important,” said Mark Acker, principal of Desert Springs Middle School and a parent.
Acker’s daughter is in elementary summer school this year.
“As a parent, I want to make sure my kid has the best footing moving forward,” he said.
Summer school for high school students has been in place for years, but according to DSUSD spokesperson Mary Perry, registration is up 90 percent this summer.
"There is no lack of students for the high school summer school program. There are waiting lists and we hope to be
able to find a way to accommodate every student," said Perry.
At CVUSD, about 5,000 students and counting are headed to summer school. PSUSD says each of their programs has a waiting list.
Educators say this demand is a direct result of the pandemic.
“You look at a lot of kids, my kids included, they weren’t always as diligent as they should have been in their zoom classes,” Acker said.
“A lot of the technology and the infrastructure at home, the students didn’t have. Even sometimes in here they have bad reception, so trying to get work turned in was a challenge enough, but when technology wasn’t there it was even tougher,” said Mark Chacon, a Cathedral City High School art teacher.
Some students are just looking to get ahead, while others are looking to make up for their struggles from this past year of distance and hybrid learning.
“From my peers and close friends, I have noticed that some of them are taking courses to recuperate from the past year through their struggles, but a lot of my friends too are taking the summer course so that they can get their credits out and done and have a nice senior year,” said Jacob Hoang, a rising senior at Cathedral City High School, who is in summer school to get ahead.
“It’s a lot of kids, it’s a lot of kids being serviced, so hopefully it pays off. I feel confident that it will,” Acker said.