District to offer summer courses

FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon School Corp. is offering all students the option this year to enroll in summer school — a program historically reserved for those who had fallen behind.

The program gives students — even those who aren’t struggling — the flexibility to continue learning through the summer, even if they can’t be on campus. High school students will be able to take their summer courses online, so they can take the class anywhere.

Elementary and middle school students will take two-week courses at Fortville Elementary and the high school focused on reading, math and language arts, while high school students will have the opportunity to earn extra credits on and off campus, through online learning, in a number of courses.

Administrators wanted to give students the opportunity to continue learning through the summer if they choose, and because the district began providing students with take-home computers this year, online coursework is an option as well, said Superintendent Shane Robbins.

At the high school, students taking online courses will come to campus only for the first day of class and to take tests, giving them the flexibility to learn wherever they are and at their own pace.

“We want to provide as many opportunities as possible to our students,” Robbins said. “Because the high school students don’t need to be on campus, they can take these courses from home or while they’re on vacation.”

Some high school students will use summer school as an opportunity to recover class credits, while others will take general or elective courses they need before graduation, freeing up their schedules during the school year to fit in more electives, Robbins said.

They can retake math or English if they need to, or they can take a number of elective courses including sociology, marketing, physical education (taken at the high school) and music appreciation.

Though other high schools in the county offer summer school courses for core subjects as well, students at Greenfield-Central, Southern Hancock and Eastern Hancock will be able to take Mt. Vernon’s online courses for a fee of $50 per course, and those classes will count for credit in their own districts. New Palestine High School students can also take online summer classes through M.S.D. Wayne Township’s Achieve Virtual Education Academy.

Fourteen teachers have already been hired to teach courses at Mt. Vernon High School, and more than 150 students have registered for summer school district wide.

Because state funding covers expenses related to paying teachers to work summer school, expanding the summer school options isn’t expected to cost the district much money, Robbins said; additional expenses include providing limited transportation and having the district’s buildings open.

This summer will be the first year the district’s elementary schools will host summer school in her memory, said Mt. Comfort Elementary School Principal Heather Whitaker.

The school district regularly offers I-READ remediation to all third-grade students who didn’t pass the state-mandated reading test but hasn’t offered it in other courses in recent years, she said.

Though many of the 50 Mt. Comfort Elementary students signed up for summer school are taking a remediation class, at least 15 are using it to continue learning through the summer, Whitaker said.

“It helps keep their brains active and helps them learn additional skills,” Whitaker said. “So when they come back to school in the fall, we’ve seen less of a drop in their abilities so we can keep moving them forward.”

How to register

Parents may register their students for summer school through next week. Classes begin June 6.

To sign your student up for a course or see the options available, mvcsc.k12.in.us/Content2/502.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.