By Mary O’KEEFE
For some, summer means the beach, sleeping in and free time, but for others it means an opportunity to advance academically and free up some elective course time.
Summer school in the Crescenta Valley is very popular. For years it was as simple as signing up a course, but with the down turn of the economy things changed. Districts began taking a hard look at their budgets and the cuts began.
Two years ago Glendale Unified School District made the difficult decision to no longer offer free summer school to their students. Local foundations and other educational services filled the void, but at a cost.
This is the second year La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation will be offering summer school courses for freshman to senior students, regardless of where they live.
“It is a first come first serve basis,” said Jinny Dalbeck, a co-chair of the summer school committee.
Dalbeck, a former member of the La Cañada Unified School District governing board, was among those that approached the LCFEF with the summer school idea.
“Other foundations run summer school, this way it frees up the district to [concentrate on] remedial courses,” she said.
Glendale offers remedial courses free of charge for students who have, for one reason or another, received a failing grade.
Linda Evans, former Crescenta Valley High School principal, will act as summer school principal for the first three weeks, then CVHS Assistant Principal Lisa Reed will take the second three weeks.
There will be a variety of courses offered.
“It is basically all the core math, science and English courses,” Evans said.
Summer school becomes important to students who either want to take AP courses during the year or have a specific elective [not required course] in mind.
“Like those students in band. That requires two electives,” said Katherine Fundukian Thorossian, assistant superintendent at GUSD.
The Glendale Educational Foundation also offers fee-based summer school for high school students.
“In our district there are a couple of different programs,” Thorossian said. “One is Glendale Community College program for elementary [school aged students] that is held at Fremont Elementary. That is a fee-based program. Glendale Unified School District offers remediation classes at the secondary level without charge. The Glendale Educational Foundation offers fee-based classes for advancement.”
Thorossian said that summer school allows students to either free up their schedule for different classes, like electives, or gives students an opportunity to improve a class they did not do well in previously.
“We also have summer school through BYU [Brigham Young University] online program and GCC and Glendale Educational Foundation offer online courses as well,” Thorossian added.
For those courses students are advised to speak to their school counselors for information.
LCFEFE fees are $750 for the entire summer session, $400 for one semester and there is a $50 discount for siblings. For more information go to lcfef.org and click on Summer School.
The Assistance League of Flintridge administers programs for elementary school aged students. For summer school courses, visit www.alflintridge.or or call (818) 790-1328.
For Glendale Educational Foundation, visit www.glened.org and click on Summer School or call (818) 247-0466.
The GCC program is finalizing its courses. For information, call (818) 240-1000 ext. 5015. In 2011, the course prices were $395 for three weeks.