VALDOSTA — Summer heralds the call of academic freedom for many students. For a few it’s a chance to earn much-needed credit after a difficult semester.

Valdosta High School will host a variety of academic programs this summer to help get Wildcats and others ready for next fall.

Brian Law, school counselor and summer administrator, said the program is open to students from schools all over Georgia, both public and private.

“We are serving the community. The school board agrees when it comes to kids there is no need to say, ‘These are ours, these are yours,’” Law said. “When you have kids failing it’s affecting the entire community.”

The program is an accredited summer school for ninth to 12th grade students.

Charging for summer school and allowing students from other schools to attend is cost effective, Law said.

The charge covers the cost of the teachers and the electric bill to run the program. The state does not allocate funds for summer school, requiring schools to pull from other sources, he said.

Last year a student from a North Georgia school participated in the program, Law said.

He was visiting his sister, a student at Valdosta State University, and needed a credit.

Law said any sports rivalry that happens during the regular school year is left at the door during the summer.

“We never have any trouble,” Law said.

The students, with the exception of a rare few, are focused on recovering lost credits, he said.

The fact that the courses are being paid for by their parents is another motivator, Law said.

“They realize that if their parents have to pay for it they have to take it seriously,” he said.

Students enrolled in summer school will work within Odyssey Ware with additional supplemental writing. Modules must be mastered and completed in the two-week period and a grade will be given for the course.

The program is aligned with the current Georgia Performance Standards curriculum, Law said.

This allows other schools to participate and have students transfer credits back to their schools. End-of-Course tests required for some courses will also be administered and the grades sent back to the appropriate school, Law said.

Students from private schools may be exempt from the End-of-Course test as private school curriculum does not require them.

The cost of the program is $300 per credit, Law said.

No checks or credit cards will be accepted. Payments will have to be made in cash only.

The summer session will have around 400 spaces, with 25 spots in each academic area. The morning sessions will hold 100 students, with the afternoon session holding 100 as well, Law said.

Students get a full credit by attending two sessions, he said.

They can attend a full day session for two weeks or a morning session or afternoon session for four weeks. Session 1 of the summer school program will run June 8-19 from 8-11:30 a.m. and noon to 3:30 p.m. Session 2 will run June 22-July 3 at the same times.

All courses will be offered in both the morning and afternoon in both sessions.

All End-of-Course tests will be administered on July 2 with a make-up on July 3.

Program | 5A

The courses are designed to be flexible to work around a student’s summer schedule, Law said.

Students have an opportunity to earn up to two credits over the course of the summer.

Summer school is first come, first serve, he said.

Registration will be June 2 and 3 from 8 a.m. to noon in the lobby of the Valdosta High Performing Arts Center. To register students either have to bring their report cards or transcripts to show what class they need to take, Law said.

The classes will be held in the Valdosta High School business department. Ninth grade classes will be held in the English lab in the main building.

Any freshman who failed a course, making between a 65-69, may enroll in summer school for free. This credit recovery course is only offered to VHS students, Law said.

The school’s social workers are currently looking into outside organizations that may be able to assist students who will not be able to afford to go to summer school, he said.

Summer school is not the only program available at VHS during the summer.

RAMP will help rising ninth graders who are a grade or two behind in math and/or reading prepare for high school.

In addition to help in math and reading, students will also learn key biology terms to help them prepare for the freshman science class from June 15-26.

The course will be held for three hours a day and involve intense remediation, Law said.

RAMP students will be identified by eighth grade teachers. The session will run June 15-26 from 8 a.m. to noon. Student will do 1.25 hours of each subject, each day, for five days.

A Georgia High School Graduation Test review will also be available for VHS students. The program is a review for those who failed and for those who have the potential for failing, Law said.

In addition to academics, students can sign up to take a half credit drivers education course from June 8 to July 3. The class will begin at 8 a.m. and run until 11:30 a.m. The cost of the program is $175.

Attendance in summer classes is required, and there will be no make-up days. Students who miss days will fail.

The cafeteria will be open each day to serve breakfast and lunch.

Applications for summer school courses can be downloaded on the school Web site at

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