Summer Classes Offer Advantage, Teach Life Skills


Many students interested in gaining an advantage over their peers take online courses over the summer. (photo by Jessie Bates)

For most high school students, summer represents freedom from school and a relief from the constant work and studying that school requires. There are some students, however, who choose to continue school online over the summer. The reason for this decision differs per person, but most take courses in order to take a higher level the next school year.

Junior Rachel Zhang took pre-AP chemistry the summer before her sophomore year in order to take AP chemistry during her upcoming year. Although she claims she initially decided to take the course online because her parents made her, she ended up enjoying this style of course and was happy that she was able to take AP chemistry — a class commonly reserved for juniors and seniors — as a sophomore.

“I like how I could learn at my own pace and sit in bed while doing it,” Rachel said. “It also taught me how to manage my own time.”

The primary argument against this style of taking a class is that these online courses are easier than the same class taken at Central. Even if this were true, this does not mean that the students taking these classes are not appropriately prepared for the next level of the course. Rachel maintained high grades in AP chemistry, a class in which many people — even those who take pre-AP chemistry at Central — struggle to succeed.

Despite the negative assumptions made about online classes, there is no denying that this method of taking the class accomplishes what it intends: effectively teaching the material and preparing the student for the next level of the course.