Summer School's Popularity Grows

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Tawni Foster will be a freshman at Payson High School next fall, but by then, she'll already know her way around campus.

Foster is one of 13 freshmen who decided to get a jump on their high school careers this semester by attending summer school.

"I thought it would help me be more prepared for high school and less stressed," she said.

Foster studies pre-algebra from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and will receive half a credit if she passes the course. Other classes, such as Algebra I, are held for six hours a day and are worth a full credit. The average length of each course is four weeks.

Payson High School, which began offering summer school classes last year, more than doubled its summer school classes this year -- from four to 10.

"We were getting a lot of parent and student requests," high school administrative intern Debbie Wheelis said. "If a student wanted to get ahead or catch up on a missed class, the student had to take correspondence courses or go somewhere else. We got so many requests we knew there was a need and decided to open the summer school."

Nearly 50 students are enrolled in the school's first summer semester, which offers first and second semester American/Arizona History, first and second semester World Cultures, Intro to Algebra, driver's education, and Algebra I.

Next semester, which starts Monday, students can take first and second semester geometry, reading, general English, and college prep reading.

Students can sign up for second-semester courses, which cost $75 for half-credit courses and $150 for full-credit courses, until Monday morning.

Summer school not only gives students a chance to get ahead or catch up, it can also afford them some breathing room, Wheelis said.

"College-bound students who are in sports or band are busy at night and they need some time to see their families and rest," she said. "This way, they can take a class in the summer and take an academic learning hour (where they can work on homework for credit), or take a class they otherwise wouldn't have room for during the school year."

For more information about Payson High School's summer school program, call the school at 474-2233.

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