By Rohan Chakraborty, Hidden Valley High School
Normally, during summer vacation I enroll for camps but this summer I did something different: I enrolled for an online school course on personal finance offered by Roanoke County schools. In the beginning, I wondered if that was the right thing to do. I had just finished a grueling school year and was really not very keen on having to work again during summer. I thought I would not have much time for anything fun while my friends would be most certainly enjoying their vacation. However, it turned out to be not that bad after all. On an average, the class required a couple of hours of work every day. Of course, there were deadlines for project work and assignments, but I still had plenty of time to enjoy my vacation.
Students who are looking for something meaningful to do during summer may find summer school courses a worthwhile option. It doesn’t sound like fun, but it’s not that bad either. Out-of-county students may be admitted based on availability of space. They can also check to see what’s offered in other school systems and counties. Students can choose between online courses offered by RCS Virtual High School or those offered at a local high school. Most of the courses last six weeks.
The advantage of an online class is that it can be done at your own pace. Even if you are registered for other camps during the day, you could still work on this at night. Some courses like personal finance are graduation requirements. Another popular choice is health and PE, because it includes field trips and other fun activities.
Hidden Valley freshman Utkarsh Agarwal said, “It was the highlight of my summer! It was very easy and lots of fun. I accomplished fitting everything into my schedule. We went bowling, biking, golfing, played tennis, and went to the lake.”
Apart from earning a credit for these courses, summer courses can provide the opportunity to study a subject of interest. Some students opted for more challenging courses like geometry, but in the end they felt good about having accomplished something.
When asked about how much time and effort the geometry course required, Elyssa Mcmaster, a freshman at Cave Spring said, “I was there six hours a day but it didn’t take any time outside of class.”
More information on summer school courses can be found on the Roanoke County Public Schools website http://www.rcs.k12.va.us/summer/.