Staying in school

"School's in for summer" didn't make the cut for a rock anthem.

Still, nearly 800 students opted for summer school this year in La Cañada.

La Cañada Unified School District is hosting classes for high school students, while first- through eighth-graders were invited to take classes through the Assistance League of Flintridge. Summer school started in late June and will end July 30.

There are 207 high school students enrolled in summer school at LCHS this year, where classes are offered in American history, world history, algebra, government and economics, directive studies, English and geometry.

Due to budget constraints, the district will not offer high school summer school next year. While it's still unknown where La Cañada teens will find summer courses in 2011, the Assistance League of Flintridge will continue to offer its summer program for elementary and junior high students, as it has done since 1978.

This year there are about 35 Assistance League-sponsored classes operating for elementary or junior high students at La Cañada Elementary or the high school.

"The cool thing about summer school at ALF is it's all fun stuff," said Amy Wawrychuk, one of two principals who split duties for summer school at La Cañada Elementary.

The courses expose kids to subjects and activities they wouldn't have during the regular school year, while stressing the fun of learning, according to Judi Healy, who was principal for the first half of the summer program.

"Sensible Critters," "Science for the Curious," "Cooking," "Art for the Masters," "Sports for a Lifetime," strategy games and historical architecture are just a handful of classes going on right now for elementary students.

On any summer day, students at the campus on Encinas Drive can be seen catching bugs, knitting quilts, playing strategy games, making volcanoes, recreating pieces of timeless architecture or making roller coasters to learn about friction.

Middle school students were offered classes like video production, robotics, speech and debate, Photoshop elements, math enrichment, writing workshop and tennis. Assistance League summer school is hosting 16 classes with 181 students enrolled.

"It's things they don't get to do during the school year, so it's fun for them," said Judy Cosgrove, the league's summer school chairman. "It gives them an introduction to things they will be learning in high school."

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