It has been a Journey to Learning for 506 students in grades K-12 this summer in the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools.

From May 29 through July 9, students in elementary, middle and high school took intervention-remediation, enrichment, high school credit and makeup classes, said Debbie Arnold, pupil-services secretary.

"Our summer school program is known as Journey to Learning, and we strive to make the experience a journey for the students that participate," said Tia Holliman, the district's director of curriculum. "Our first- through eighth-grade classes are in reading and math. They are designed as reinforcement and support of skills in those areas, to ensure a strong start to the next school year."

The district also offered preschool experience, pre-kindergarten experience and kindergarten enhancement courses that focused on foundational academic and social skills, she said.

"Our EL (English language) classes are developed to support our EL students with continued language acquisition and academic support through the summer," Holliman said. "There were 360 students who participated in at least one pre-K through eighth-grade course."

For high school programming, the district offered physical education, health and speech for initial credit. All of these courses are completed in a semester during the regular academic year, according to Holliman.

"This allows students to complete a required credit while freeing up space in their school schedule to take additional courses," she said. "The remaining courses offered for high school credit in the summer are make-up courses in English, math, science and social studies."

Students who might have experienced some challenges during the school year and/or could benefit from additional support in a given course are able to complete the course in summer school.

"This opportunity gives them a chance to strengthen skills in the course and earn the credit toward graduation," Holliman said. "Due to the short length of our summer school programming, it is difficult for students to earn initial credit for many other courses.

"This summer, there were 146 high school students taking at least one course," she said.

Arnold said 81 students in grades 5-8 were enrolled for reading and math. The elementary program included 279 students. It consisted of reading and math classes for grades 1-4, as well as preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten enhancement classes.

A Chinese enrichment class also was offered, she said.

Elementary and middle school sessions were held at High Point Elementary School and Middle School East.

"Overall, the experience was a good one for our students, staff and families," Holliman said. "We have dedicated staff that work hard to make the experience an enjoyable one and one that students look forward to participating.

"For these students, Journey to Learning is another opportunity for staff to build relationships and provide academic support that will benefit the students during the school year."