Summer school to begin at 3 high schools

More than 2,600 students enroll for makeup classes, 1,000 more than expected

July 13, 2004|By Laura Loh | Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

More than 2,600 students have signed up for makeup classes that will begin today at three city high schools, despite confusion in recent weeks about where summer school would be held.

School officials had expected 1,000 fewer students because of the higher cost of tuition this year, but said they have the extra teachers needed to handle the student load.

The jump in enrollment - about 1,500 students attended summer school last year - was a surprise to school officials because plans for summer school were up in the air until late last month, when the school system abandoned a plan to send youngsters to classes at Baltimore City Community College.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of inaccurate information provided by Baltimore school officials, an article in Tuesday's editions incorrectly reported that the city school system is providing free bus passes to summer school students. In fact, only reduced fare cards are being offered. The Sun regrets the error.

The school system made that decision after the college's president, who had offered to help run the city's summer school, resigned in May. Other college officials hesitated about following through on his commitment.

School officials say more students are participating in summer school because tuition waivers were given more freely this year for the classes, which cost $150 each. Last summer, classes were free, and two years ago they cost $75.

Students receivd partial or full waivers, depending on their parents' income level.

Students also had more courses to choose from this summer, including physical education, fine arts and foreign languages. Last year, the school system offered basic math, English, science and social studies.

"I'm hoping for a smooth start," said Frank DeStefano, high school officer for the city schools. "Until you open, you never know. But we're anticipating that the people at the [school] level have thought of everything they can."

Classes will be held at Frederick Douglass, Lake Clifton/Eastern and Harbor City high schools beginning today. Classes to help students who failed Maryland Functional tests are under way at Patterson High.

The school system set aside $250,000 to provide bus passes and classroom supplies to summer school students and to pay for about 800 tuition waivers. Teacher salaries will be paid for with the class fees.

Summer classes are open to students who failed a course during the school year or missed taking a class needed to graduate.

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