When someone raises the idea of Summer School during your academic planning meetings, in what direction does the discussion go? Does it head down the well-worn path of “avoidance-at-all-cost” because of the complex issues it raises? Is the idea quickly dismissed due to a lack of students with need, staffing issues, or the availability of facilities?
Many Christian schools avoid offering their own Summer School program, and instead, they send families to public schools or other private, non-Christian institutions to recover credit or advance academically. This strategy typically does result in students gaining summer credits, but often leaves school leaders with an uneasy sense of being “off-mission,” because they fail to provide Christian education or academic oversight during the summer months.
Sevenstar Academy has helped schools set up an online Summer School program in just a few weeks, during which students can receive remediation for any subject or enroll in over 100 courses for advancement. Consider the resources required to implement a similar Summer School option in a traditional manner. The schools that are expanding their ministries to include Summer School by utilizing technology and online learning are raising their academic standards and connecting with new students.
“The most beneficial aspect of our Summer School program with Sevenstar is that we free up space in the schedule for our incoming seniors to take more advanced courses or electives that they were previously unable to take.” – CJ Del Balso, formerly at Capistrano Valley Christian School
Summer School is about accountability, opportunity and ministry. For some students, Summer School provides accountability when their grades fall short of their school’s academic requirements. At the same time, however, it provides those same students the opportunity to redeem themselves and recover the credit they failed to receive during the school year. The ministry stems from the lessons learned that shape character along with the relationships formed along the way.
For other students, Summer School provides an opportunity to advance, academically, by completing required course work outside of the school year. Instead of accountability, these students require accessibility to the course(s) they desire to take. Ministry takes the form of spiritual and academic growth because their school offers a rich environment where a student can thrive.
A Christian school which offers Summer School positions itself as an organization that holds students accountable for their academic performance. At the same time, this school has the opportunity to increase its value to current families and community members by offering additional academic services to its students. Providing such a service may also attract new students, creating the opportunity to build relationships, and result in new enrollments in the school.
When a Christian school frames its Summer School program with a Christian teaching staff and Christ-centered curriculum, it not only extends its ministry of Christian education to current students, but also opens the door to connect with new students seeking options for the summer months.
A survey of Sevenstar Partners revealed that 40% of summer school students enroll full-time at their school. Summer programs appeal to homeschool families and elementary school students in the area. These programs also appeal to international students, elite athletes, and English Language Learners. In each case, Summer School builds new relationships, which translate into new enrollments.
It is now possible to offer a robust summer school program for remediation and advancement without the typical costs. An online Summer School with Sevenstar can improve the bottom line while helping students get ahead.
For most schools, summer is a condensed period of time used to help students advance academically or recover credits from the previous school year. Using online summer school courses to start or continue your summer school program may be handled several different ways. Many successful summer programs have students attend the school campus four to five days per week, for several hours per day. Other schools choose to monitor their students at a distance; their students work from home and report in to school personnel with their progress, either daily or weekly.
Your unique situation may combine some of the previously mentioned methods or even include additional ways to conduct summer school.
Our Credit Rescue classes might appeal to your program's needs if you have students trying to recover credit. Students can take Credit Rescue classes if they have previously taken the course, either online or traditionally, and were unable to earn the grade they needed. Keep in mind that these courses are not NCAA approved because they allow students to test out of material in order to create a specific path to fit their learning needs.
We also offer all of our regular online classes for use during summer school. Because of the rigor of the regular online classes, students must be enrolled and actively working in each class for a minimum of 6 weeks per 1/2 credit. If you have a student who needs to complete a 1/2 credit in fewer than six weeks and is willing to commit to working 75 hours on the coursework, an exemption request can be filed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For too long, Christian schools have either avoided offering Summer School or settled for a non-Christian substitute. In both cases, these schools miss out on blessing their current families and reaching new families with Christian education
The traditional barriers to hosting a robust, Christ-centered Summer School program are removed with the advent of online learning. Christian schools that have investigated this innovation have found that they can quickly, easily, and cost-effectively deliver a Summer School program that raises the academic bar, improves school competitiveness, and expands the ministry of Christian education.
Contact us to find out more today.