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Why are so many PAUSD students taking remedial summer school classes?

Original post made by palo alto mom, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Jun 29, 2010

Given that the summer school program in PAUSD is primarily remedial - for kids who have either failed or done poorly in a class, why are 25% of our high school students in summer school? According to the Mercury news, 958 students are taking summer school classes in PAUSD, there are about 3700 high school students. That doesn't include all the kids taking classes at St. Francis (those are not usually remedial, but classes to get ahead).

Is there any correlation between our achievement gap and the need for so many students to make up classes? Are Palo Alto classes so much more difficult? Are they not taught as well? Are there certain classes and teachers who "funnel" the kids into summer school? I remember my son's bio class started with about 30 kids and ended the year with less than 20.

Comments (6)

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Posted by check your numbers
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I am not sure where you got your information but most of the secondary summer school classes are not remedial. Living Skills enrollment makes up a majority of the High School summer classes. There are 14 sections of Living Skills during the two semesters. The number of students "making up a class" or taking a "remedial" class is probably between 100 and 150.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 29, 2010 at 11:50 pm

My son is taking the English Composition course because all his English teachers at Jordan were horrible. Fortunately, this summer school teacher (a Jordan teacher) is fantastic and he is learning what he should have learned in the past.

PAUSD teachers are not all the best, so if a student has experienced bad teachers in middle school, it's best to catch up before attending high school.

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Posted by summerschoolvets
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 30, 2010 at 11:02 am

Many kids are doing remedial, review, or make-up work at St. Francis. The courses are more difficult in Palo Alto than they need to be and exceed the rigor needed to get UC approval. Many kids drop during the year and then use St. Francis' programs to make up the credits.

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:56 pm

A lot of kids will want to get so-called Living Skills semester course out of the way in the summer after freshman year. It's shudder worthy.

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Posted by Paly 08 grad
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Ditto, ditto, ditto. Many students take Living Skills. Many more take creative writing or some other elective. There's no epidemic of kids needing remedial classes.

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Posted by must be out of the loop
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Surely a course on living skills is remedial!

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