For the first time in a decade, all Santa Barbara high school students will have the opportunity to take summer-school courses. While the school district offers remedial courses, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) will offer classes that are neither aimed at “credit-recovery” nor advanced students. Such courses will hopefully ease class sizes during the regular academic year while allowing students to free up their schedules, get ahead on their graduation requirements, or burnish their college applications.
Margie Yahyavi, executive director of SBEF, said that the average UCLA admit has completed 54 “A-G” courses, whereas the average Santa Barbara student completes 48. A-G requirements refer to yearlong courses in academic subjects that students must finish in order to attend Cal State or UC campuses. Summer courses will also enable students to take more electives during the school year, especially those in programs like AVID that include an elective period.
The summer school will be located on the San Marcos campus, but it will be completely administered by SBEF, which needs to cover costs. So there will be a tuition fee — $290 for a three-week, five-credit course and $580 for a six-week, 10-credit course. Scholarships are available for students who qualify for free or reduced meals, and the foundation, with urging from the Santa Barbara school board, is attempting to arrange scholarships for those who don’t qualify but would still find it hard to pay tuition. “Those students that would benefit the most from summer school are the ones that are least likely to have the resources,” said Yahyavi, explaining that she is trying to make the school as accessible as possible.
Classes will run during two sessions from June 17 to July 25. Offerings include language, art, history, and playwriting classes among others, although the schedule is still in flux and will depend on enrollment. The SBEF will prioritize hiring teachers from within the Santa Barbara district. More information is available at sbefoundation.org.