By Alex Kirshner ‘18
At some high schools “summer school” is synonymous with failure or remediation.
On Brophy’s campus, nearly three-quarters of the student body takes advantage of summer school as a way to take electives or core classes.
Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Mr. Seamus Walsh, who directs the academic aspect of Brophy summer school, said in an email with The Roundup that the school attempts to offer a wide variety of classes that help students.
“We try to offer a menu of classes that fulfill graduation requirements in some way and also lend themselves to a block schedule,” he said.
Certain core classes, such as many science and math courses, as well as certain electives, are offered over summer because the classes lend themselves better to longer class periods.
“Usually, all core science classes are offered… and those courses lend themselves to a block schedule, as more lab work can be done than in a typical day during the school year,” Mr. Walsh said.
Nick Stineman ’18 took economics the summer before his junior year because he wanted to get ahead in his social studies courses, which is one of his weaker subjects.
“I took it because I knew junior year was going to be very challenging so I decided to get ahead in one of my weaker subjects, which is history,” he said.
Stineman also said that he learned more over summer because the information was absorbed in such a short period of time.
Mr. Walsh echoed this statement.
“I think they learn the material differently,” he said, “and in some cases, they are able to drill deeper into content or lab work because of the longer daily schedule.”
While he did learn more material, Stineman did say that a potential drawback of taking summer classes was the amount of material that he had to learn in such a short time.
“One drawback of summer school was constantly being fed loads of information during the two weeks,” he said.
Mr. Walsh said that students sometimes feel that they can miss a couple of days and be able to make up the work because it’s just a summer course, but it’s not that easy.
Usually courses cover at least a week’s worth of content every day. Missing two days of summer school is equivalent to missing two weeks of a regular semester.
“When a course meets four and half hours per day, missing a couple days is missing a ton of content, and that can be tough on teacher and student,” Mr. Walsh said.