Many high school students take extra credits during summer break in order to enhance their learning, graduate early or make up for failed classes during the school year. Although credit recovery for failed courses are often available at your local high school, you may have to work with the school's administrative office or the school board if you wish to take college courses, home school or online summer classes for credit or to speed up your graduation date.

Preparing for Summer Classes

Meet with a school counselor, administrator or teacher before school ends to discuss options for extra credits through online classes, summer school, college courses or home schooling. Ask about the rules, which can vary by school and state.

Summer School Options

One of the easiest and most well-known options is to enroll in a summer school program sponsored by your school district. Replace a year or semester's worth of classes (depending on your school's scheduling system) with a summer school course or take a class at your local community college. Fill out the appropriate forms at your high school's administrative office to receive credit for course taken through a local college.

Advancing Over the Summer

Summer school isn't always for catching up on courses missed or failed during the school year. Some students choose to take courses to study for AP tests or take placement tests to opt out course work. Pass a placement test to opt out of the lower levels of a class, such as first year Spanish. Arrange for a placement test by speaking to a teacher of the class for which you will be testing. Find out if you can receive credit for the class even if you don't have to take it after passing the test. Taking a math class over the summer can accelerate the high school math path. Check with your high school and the college you want to attend for information concerning their specific credit amounts and score requirements.

Online Summer Courses

Another option to complete further coursework is by taking online courses over the summer. Get any special permission you may need from the office at your school or the school board office for an online learning program. Secure parental permission even if you plan to teach yourself the material, as this may be required for students under age 18. There are many online course options that can be taken as prerequisites, for credit recovery or to open up your school schedule. Some school districts are now offering free online high school courses for credit. Take an online summer course or learn the material on your own to take any tests or produce a related portfolio required by your school on the material. Don't neglect regular summer activities like a job, volunteer opportunities or summer camp obligations when taking an online course. Planning a summer schedule around an online course can require balancing an existing schedule.

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