Students at work during summer school

Principal Adrianne Dodgen, right, and teacher Chris Conner are in the classroom where students grades 5-8 are being taught summer school at Eden Career Tech Center.


Gary Hanner/St. Clair Times

ASHVILLE – Summer school is in full swing at Eden Career Tech Center. Principal Adrianne Dodgen said this is the fourth year for ECTC to host a summer session.

“Summer school started June 6 and will end July 15 for 110 students in grades 5-12,” Dodgen said. “We will take the full week of July 4 off.”

Dodgen said all students are from the St. Clair County School System. “We use the APEX web-based class program, and students do have the benefit from working at home. They do have to come here to ECTC to take their tests.”

Dodgen said during the first full week, all students have to come to the campus.

“Just to make sure they are logging in,” she said. “Making sure they are on the right track and understand how to operate the program. Working from home is a privilege. If they are making good progress, the teacher will allow them to work from home. The students have contact with the teacher in case they get stuck on anything or if they need something reset. We have about 50 percent of our students working from home.”

Classes are Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Students in grades 5-8 are in one classroom while grades 9-12 are in another classroom.

Dodgen noted there are about 150 courses offered, and some of these students are taking more than one course.

“While a large majority of these students take summer school due to credit recovery, we do have some students who simply want to stay ahead,” she said. “Or they need to clear their schedule next year because they want to take some advance placement courses. We have one student here who wants to take our dual enrollment welding next year.”

Dodgen said they have a grant program again this year that provides students with breakfast and lunch absolutely free.

Chris Conner, an instructor at ECTC, also teaches summer school.

Cara Bratcher is a 17-year-old junior at St. Clair County High School in Odenville. She’s taking courses at summer school just to stay ahead.

“I’m taking a geometry class,” she said. “I’m doing this now so my senior year at SCCHS will not be so complicated. This helps me a lot because I struggle in math, and it is my worse subject.”

Jan Murry, a teacher at Ragland High School, is in her fourth year teaching summer school.

“Some of the students are making up classes while some students are taking classes to get ahead,” she said. “Some athletes just need a class they were unable to get in school due to scheduling. This is so much better for them with it being computer-based. We can accommodate so many more students and help them individually, instead of teaching five different subjects in one class.”

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