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Summer school back in session for high schoolers

Summer school will be back in session for high school students on the South Coast as a foundation will take the reins of a new summer program.

It’s been nearly a decade since summer classes were limited to students making up courses they fell behind in. Now, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation will reinstate summer school classed but the new program will be fee-based.

Although it will take place at San Marcos High School, the program will not be run by the school district.

The days of summer school for students just wanting to take a class went by the wayside years ago because of one thing.

“Funding. Plain and simple,” said Margie Yahyavi, Santa Barbara Education Foundation executive director.

The foundation wants to fill the need of summer school and will provide courses for high school students looking to get ahead.

“Keep their summer learning going and to work to reduce the achievement gap,” said Yahyavi.

On Tuesday night, the Santa Barbara Unified School District board approved the foundation to rent San Marcos High School and will allow credits earned by students to transfer to their high school GPA.

Any high school student can enroll even if they aren’t a part of the school district because the classes are fee-based.

A five-unit course would cost $290 and a 10 unit course would cost $580. World History is considered 10 units and takes an entire school year to complete but a high schooler could take the full course in just six weeks.

“It’ll be rigorous, it won’t be a fluffy course. It’ll be rigorous,” explained Yahyavi.

Classes will be four days a week and four hours a day. Courses will range from health to history.

“What I really appreciated was the conversation you’ve been having with school sites, the SBTA in terms of looking for overflow classes that whatever you offer in the summer are classes that only benefit our master schedule,” said Kate Parker, school board member at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We want to be really conscientious about helping those classes during the school year that are bulging or over full,” said Yahyavi.

Since this summer school will cost money, the foundation will offer scholarships for those families who cannot afford to pay.

Classes are tentatively scheduled to start June 17. That would leave four weeks at the end of summer for students to relax before school begins again.

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