What is the best plan for student success with online summer school?
Be very mindful of what you and your students aim to accomplish with summer school. Unless students have a strong support system in the summer (ie, required attendance at a building where they will have access to computers, technical support, and their Mentor), we strongly recommend that students do not take more than one online course.
Motivation is essential for success at any time of the year, but particularly in the summer when there is fierce competition for student attention. It's not an ideal time to squeeze in a bunch of missing or recovery credits to catch up students who are lagging behind. It's a great time to make up one failed class, or fit in an important prerequisite for an advanced/desired school-year course.
Do the providers shorten the duration of the summer courses but still pack in the full requirements?
It can depend on the provider. Some may vary the content for summer courses because they use a shortened term, but the courses still have to warrant enough work to earn the credit. For the most part, our providers deliver the same content in either a shortened period or the same content in a period determined upon registration (ie, you choose the start and end dates when registering the student, just as you would during the school year). It's safest to set the student with healthy expectations: summer school is still school and is not the easy way out.
Is the full course selection available from all providers?
For the most part, yes, however a few providers will not offer courses that are not in high-demand during the summer. The DLD strives to get summer course listings up to date by mid-May each spring. Check out the DLD academic calendar for summer school start dates.
How does the Mentor role work in the summer when schools are closed?
The short answer is that a Mentor is still required. A dedicated staff person must be assigned to each student taking online courses through the DLD. Summer-term Mentors support students in the same way as they do during the regular school year and are still responsible for gathering student grade information for school transcripts. Generally, summer-term Mentors are also given summer DLD Registrar designation in order to submit drop requests and communicate with the DLD about registration and other matters. Schools must have one of the following structures in place before registering students for summer courses:
- A formal summer school program that gives students access to school-supported computers and to their assigned Mentor, OR
- Schools need to assign a Mentor who will be available to students and families for support with progress, communications, etc.
Are the costs the same?
Some providers offer a lower cost for summer courses.
Our students will be working mainly from home. What about computer access for them?
If students complete some (or all) of their coursework at home, someone from the school's Course Support staff must confer with students' parents before registering them for a course to ensure that home computers meet providers' technology requirements. Technology requirements are linked to within each course listing in the DLD catalog.