NEW YORK CITY — For some New York City children, school won’t be out for the summer.
In no less than two weeks after the last day of the school year, parents all over the city will receive written notification that their son or daughter must attend summer school in order to earn better grades on Regents exams, make up credits to graduate, or create a larger portfolio of work that will allow them to advance to the next grade.
The number of students required to attend summer school fell in 2012, according to data released on March 29. There were 82,688 students in grades 3 through 12 who attended summer school in 2012, down 36 percent from the 129,739 who attended in 2011, according to the Department of Education.
Officials credited the lower rate to more students passing state-mandated tests.
Out of the roughly 26,000 students in 3rd through 8th grades who were required to attend summer school, 71 percent were able to move on to the next grade as a result of the summer session, while the other 29 percent were required to stay back.
But fear not. Even if your child does have to attend required classes during the warmer months, it doesn’t have to put the whole family in detention. DNAinfo.com consulted the New York City Department of Education and InsideSchools.org's Judy Baum to answer a few commonly asked questions that will help parents make sense of what’s ahead.
Q. Why would my child have to attend summer school?
A. Summer school is limited to kids who need the extra help in order to move up to the next grade in the fall or high school seniors who need to make up Regents exams or credits to graduate.
Q. When will I find out if my child has to go to summer school?
A. You will receive written notification no less than 14 days after the last day of the school year.
Q. When does summer school begin?
A. The session for elementary and middle school students begins on Monday, July 8 and ends on Aug. 1. Tests for these grades are administered on Aug. 5 and 6. The session for high school students begins on July 8 and ends Aug. 12, with tests administered on Aug. 13 and 14.
Q. What time of day are the classes?
A. Individual schools set their own schedules.
Q. How many hours and days a week are the classes?
A. The Department of Education recommends this schedule: For elementary and middle schools, four hours daily, four days a week. For high schools, five hours daily, five days a week.
Q. Does my child attend their regular school for summer courses?
A. Most of the time, yes. If their own school is not teaching the course they need, high school kids can go to another school that offers the class. Some schools do not stay open for summer, and in those cases, the principals will arrange for students to go to another location. Students are entitled to attend any school site that offers summer school.
Q. If I want my child to attend a different school from the one they normally attend, how do I arrange that?
A. Parents should speak to administrators at their child’s school about connecting with a summer program at another site. Parents of students who are mandated to attend summer school should begin this process when they receive a notification letter.
Q. We had a vacation planned! Can I take my child out of summer school for that?
A. Parents should discuss possible accommodations with the school administration.
Q. Will busing be provided to summer school students?
A. Yes. Busing service and MetroCards are provided to summer school students. Special education summer bus service is limited to pupils attending public and nonpublic schools who have a 12-month program prescribed in their Individualized Education Program (IEPs).
The General Education summer bus service is limited to pupils attending NYC DOE summer school programs only. Busing service applies only to students who will be attending their assigned school, as opposed to those who elect to attend class at another site.
Q. Once summer school is completed, when do we find out if my child can move on to the next grade or receive the credits or Regents exam scores to graduate?
A. Students will be evaluated in August in order to determine whether he or she will be promoted to the next grade or earned the credits or scores to graduate.
Click here to get further information about New York City's Summer School Program.