It's not your father's summer school

Anyone over the age of 50 would probably look back on the idea of having to attend summer school and shiver — and, to be honest, no student of any era relishes the idea of attending classes when everyone else is goofing off — but the focus of summer classes has changed significantly over the years.In the past, summer school was reserved for those students who were in danger of flunking out, and that holds true to an extent today, as well. But it also is available to help students prepare for their state assessment testing or get some much-needed remediation or make up for excessive absences or even earn a few extra high school credits.Big Spring Independent School District students began attending summer school classes Monday and will continue doing so through June 20 (for elementary and junior high) and June 27 (for high school), said Chris Wigington, secondary curriculum specialist for the district.Wigington said summer school classes are offered to students who the district feels need a helping hand getting their coursework into shape. But it serves other purposes as well.“For kids in the fifth and eighth grades, it's offered for those who need remediation work so they can pass the STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) test,” he said. “At the high school, it's offered mostly for credit recovery, but we also offer art and Spanish II classes for those kids who want to get ahead. In all the other grades, it's for kids who we feel could use the extra help with their coursework or to help them prepare for the STAAR.”BSISD elementary students attend summer classes from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., while junior high schools go to classes from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. High schoolers attend summer classes from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wigington said.