Opinion: The current model of Extended Summer School is an inconvenience to students

Students+at+Enochs+attend+a+history+course+this+summer.+

Emily Isaacman, the Modesto Bee

Students at Enochs attend a history course this summer.

Omar Al Agil

It is not a secret that schools, even public schools, are not completely accessible to all students. 

It is even more alarming that many students face extreme difficulties when it comes to transportation–an issue made more apparent in the case of summer or Extended Summer School (ESS).

Students are required to attend ESS in person, even though it is entirely asynchronous. Students are already accustomed to digital classrooms and independent study because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so what is the benefit of hosting these classes at school instead of at home?

I, myself, was reminded of this when I had taken a summer class to make up Health, a class I was unable to take in freshman year since I had taken AP Human Geography instead. 

When I arrived at the classroom, the students and instructor were completely silent, with no lectures or reviews being given, due to the classroom material being done entirely online. 

This issue is not unique to Enochs. Multiple schools, mainly in the Modesto City Schools district, also follow this model. 

I was initially worried that this problem was only important to me, and that most didn’t mind the circumstances. Because of this, I decided to ask several students from Gregori High School (a school similar to ours in layout and curriculum) for their opinions on this system. 

One student believed that it was an inconvenience to their schedule. “I would have preferred to do it at home,” she says, “as I barely have enough time to do anything once I get home.”

This is important to note, as many students, especially juniors and seniors, already have packed schedules that would conflict with the attendance hours. However, not everyone agrees with this notion, and some believe this is more beneficial for the progression of the class. 

One student believes, “Even though home is comfy, it’s not a good place to work. I prefer to go in person because I’ll be sure to do my work, and home breeds an environment that promotes laziness.” 

This is also something that should be considered, as some students would take advantage of an asynchronous work model to neglect their work and/or procrastinate.

While this topic is largely debatable, and some are more bothered by this system than others, it is clear that the current summer school model needs to be re-evaluated. Many are still inconvenienced by the model, as some also do not have a medium of transportation or a guardian available to provide it. 

It is puzzling how, after the pandemic saw an emergence of digital classrooms and distance learning, public school districts (especially Modesto City Schools) have still yet to implement permanent changes that benefit their students. 

Even in the so-called “future” of learning, some schools are, unfortunately, stuck in the past.