For high-achieving students, summer school is the only way to stack their high school transcripts for their college applications to shine above the rest.
At Peninsula High School, near the top of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, more than 1,000 students have signed up for classes this summer, most of them to get ahead, officials said.
“They want to fill their transcripts with what looks at very appealing to colleges and universities,” program director Pat Corwin said. "They can’t do that during the normal school year."
"The average six-period high school day doesn’t stretch far enough to meet graduation requirements and college entry requirements – especially for those who are shooting for a big name school," Corwin said.
A generation ago, Palos Verdes Unified used to run its summer school. Corwin said the school district can’t afford it anymore – so now students have to pay for it.
California state law forbids public schools to charge for classes. To get around that, this and other public school districts - including Manhattan Beach, Arcadia and San Marino - have set up private foundations to run their summer schools. At Palos Verdes, the foundation charges students $585 per summer school class.