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    For Some, School’s Not Out for Summer

By Ann K. Williams
Staff Writer

July 6 -- Summer vacation came to an abrupt end for some Santa Monica students Tuesday morning.

While other kids were hitting the beaches or just lying around, they were already back in the classroom for the start of summer school.

Santa Monica High School students waited in a line that snaked around the parking lot to sign up for the classes they need to pass to go on to the next grade.

Across town, middle and elementary school students embarked on a “Summer School Adventure,” a program of enrichment classes sponsored by the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council and the Education Foundation of Santa Monica-Malibu.

Designed to be informal and entertaining, the middle school courses range from “Getting Fit or Fat” to “Science Fiction/Fantasy Writing” to “Rock ‘n Roll History (1950-1990).”

Most of SAMOHI’s courses are more prosaic, including English, mathematics, Spanish, science and social studies. They are required and free for students who’ve gotten a D or F and are in danger of being held back a year.

Not all of the classes at SAMOHI are remedial. ROP, or vocational, classes are being offered in computer applications and digital design, as well as training for retail, food service and office jobs.

And the Sports Department is offering basketball, cross-country, soccer, water polo, boys’ football and wrestling and girls’ golf and volleyball this summer.

More district-run summer school programs for elementary and middle school students who are in danger of failing will begin on July 11 at Will Rogers Elementary School, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, John Adams Middle School and Malibu High School.

PTA “equity” funds -- donations which are shared equally throughout the district -- are being given to this “intervention” to “enhance what we usually offer,” according to School Board Member Emily Bloomfield.

“A lot of these children would benefit from a different approach,” rather than simply repeating the same class they failed, Bloomfield said. The money supports the revision and teacher training to go with it, she added.

Some of the donated money is going into efforts to reach and involve the students’ families, including a pilot literacy program in which the parents will write their life stories. The stories will be shared with students, published and kept in the school libraries.

This is the first year the PTA Council and the Education Foundation have organized a middle school summer school program called “Stay Engaged” at Lincoln Middle School.

“Ten weeks away from the stimulation, discipline, and routines of school is too much for most middle school students,” according to organizers, who said their new program will help students “begin school again in September with more confidence and enthusiasm than ever.”

This program has done “amazingly well for the first time out,” said summer school treasurer Debbie Mulvaney, who added that the PTA Council is “very excited” that 185 students have enrolled.

The PTA/Ed Foundation’s traditional “Summer School Adventure” at Franklin and Juan Cabrillo elementary schools includes such diverse courses as Spanish -- “It’s Easy As Pie” for grades K-2, “Carnivores Living Around the World (C.L.A.W.)” and “Lights, Camera, Action.” a drama course for grades 2 through 5.

Some 450 students are enrolled at Franklin, 180 at Cabrillo, and there are still some openings in all three of the PTA/Ed Foundation programs.

They will run from July 5 to July 29 and cost $375 per student for a full morning of classes.

For more information about summer school at:

  • SAMOHI visit Santa Monica High School or call Ruth Esseln, H House Prinicipal at 310 395-3204, ext. 246.
  • Lincoln Middle School call Lori Paddock at (310) 393-9227 ext. 555.
  • Juan Cabrillo Elementary School call Ken Harris at (310) 457-0360, ext. 140.
  • Franklin Elementary School call Sylvia Fuchs at (310) 828-2814.

More information about the PTA/Education Foundation programs is available online

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