Summer school enrollment will be reduced at the elementary and middle school levels and the program will be aimed particularly at students "whose families may have fewer options for summer learning" or those "needing literacy or math intervention," according to school district staff reports.
The changes follow new state law, which prohibits school districts from charging fees for summer school. Last year, the district had to offer refunds to Palo Alto families who had paid summer school fees as high as $475.
School officials said they would scale back future summer "enrichment" offerings as a result of the restrictions on charging fees, but Palo Alto recreation officials said they would pick up the slack by expanding their fee-based enrichment choices for the summer of 2014.
At the high school level, summer school enrollment will be about the same as last year 700 in Session 1 and 500 in Session 2 and the program will focus on making up lost credits, the "living skills" class required for high school graduation, economics, a "freshman bridge" class to acquaint students with high school and a non-credit Spanish class to help students with a new language requirement.
Elementary summer school will be at Barron Park and Escondido elementary schools; middle school summer school will be at Terman Middle School and high school summer school will be at Gunn.
Following years of discord over differences between the counseling models used at Gunn and Palo Alto high schools, district officials tonight will present a report describing "greater commonality in activities" even though programs at the two schools still have different names, delivery systems and frequency of meetings.
Tonight's board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.