Summer School's Soaring
Sotonoff, Jamie, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jamie Sotonoff Daily Herald Staff Writer
Forget about going to camp, working, or hanging out with friends at the mall.
A growing number of Northwest suburban high school students are spending their summer in school.
Summer school enrollment is up this year at most Northwest suburban high schools, but nowhere is that as evident as at Palatine-Schaumburg Township High School District 211, which has record high enrollments.
James Dewey, District 211's director of continuing education and summer school, said roughly one out of every two District 211 students enrolled in an academic class this summer.
The district logged 6,536 registrations this summer, up 15 percent from last year, Dewey said.
In Northwest Suburban High School District 214, summer enrollment jumped by 180 students to 4,200. That means roughly 37 percent of all District 214 students are taking summer school.
"It's amazing how many kids (enroll) now. More do it that don't," Dewey said.
The reasons for the rising enrollment vary. There are always remedial students who need extra help and those who retake classes they flunked during the year.
But a growing number of students are taking summer school to improve their grade point averages and improve their academic accomplishments on their college applications, Dewey said.
Fremd High School junior Meredith Moede decided to take a three week long "Consumer Ed" this summer - a graduation requirement - so she could free up her schedule in the fall and take a different academic class.
"It goes quicker, it's easier, and it gets it out of the way," said Moede, a Palatine resident.
Palatine student Kim LaVigne, an incoming freshman at Fremd, enrolled in a math class so she could start this fall in advanced geometry rather than regular geometry.
"The time goes quickly," she said. "And I get more used to the school so I know where I'm going."
Why is District 211's summer school program so much larger than those in the surrounding districts? One reason is cost.
A summer school class in District 211 costs just $60, compared with $100 or more for the same class in neighboring districts. That boils down to $1 an hour, Dewey said.
District 211 also offers discounts for its two remedial classes so they cost as little as $20 a class. …