June 13: the day when students are finally released after completing another year of school. After a two-week break, nearly every students’ nightmare begins: summer school.
MCPS offers a small range of courses to choose from, including the most basic math, English, science, and history courses. Health and Foundations of Computer Science are also offered.
Counselor Jose Varela does not usually recommend taking summer courses unless students fail a class or if students need more room in their schedule. “Summer school isn’t something I recommend unless students fail a class. Students should be off interning, relaxing, or working during the summer,” Varela said.
The two most common courses taken over the summer are health and Foundations of Computer Science. “Specifically for Wootton, students take health because it helps add flexibility for taking electives in their schedule. Taking the technology credit over the summer is also common because people who are in AOIT and STARS need another credit, but typically, not a lot of students take courses over the summer,” Varela said.
No honors courses are offered over the summer for students retaking a class they did not pass. “There are very few summer courses offered, and the ones that are offered are just the most basic academic programs that are required for graduation because they are just meant to be credit recovery, not learning material. Most classes are meant for students who need to retake a class.” Varela said.
Senior Young Kim recommends taking health over the summer for two reasons. “It was really nice to have the option to take health over the summer because there were a lot of electives I wanted to take during the school year. I didn’t want to waste any time taking required courses, so taking health over the summer is a great way to get it over with. I highly recommend students to take whichever courses they can over the summer so their school schedules have more classes they enjoy,” Kim said.
Kim has also taken other courses over the summer. “I’ve taken Matter and Energy during freshman summer in order to take more AP science classes, and a research project, which was a required course for STARS. People normally think summer courses are awful, but taking these classes over the summer was actually really fun.”
Freshman Merril Heitz is glad to have the option to take courses over the summer. “Even though a lot of my friends are still taking health at school, I’m planning to take the online health course because I don’t have any time in my schedule next year. I don’t want to waste a class period even if health is only one semester long, so it’s nice to have this option,” Heitz said.
All schools meet face-to-face daily, except Wootton, which functions as a blended online learning site. Registration starts in the spring on the MCPS website.