“I really hope our parents of kids who are sophomores and juniors this year pay close attention to this because they're going to get an opportunity to get a jump start on dual credits,” said Darin Powell, assistant superintendent.

There was a time when summer school at the high school level solely meant remedial work for students needing another chance to learn what they didn't master from August to May. In Hannibal, 2017's summer school program is being designed for HHS students anxious to gain some college credits at far less than full-college costs.

“I really hope our parents of kids who are sophomores and juniors this year pay close attention to this because they're going to get an opportunity to get a jump start on dual credits,” said Darin Powell, assistant superintendent.

According to Powell, eight-week online classes will be offered through a partnership with Hannibal-LaGrange University (HLGU) and Moberly Area Community College (MACC).

While the classes will be provided online, students will have the opportunity to seek assistance should the need for help arise.

“It will kind of be like a teacher assistant's hours in college, where if the student is stuck on their College Algebra or their English Comp they can come in and we can provide some tutoring,” said Powell.

One of the big benefits to students, and their parents, is the cost associated with gaining these summer college credits.

“That's just another opportunity for kids to get college credit at $70 or $85 a credit hour versus paying three times that when their kid goes off to college,” said Powell. “We're excited about that opportunity and that partnership with both HLGU and MACC.”

Dual credits are not the only summer school opportunity being made available to HHS students.

“Another thing we're opening up to is a lot of our students want to participate in the A+ program. There's 50 hours of tutoring they have to do in their high school career. They can now do that in summer school,” said Powell. “And also they can start to do some job shadowing in summer school so if they arrange in the summer to go shadow a veterinarian, shadow an accountant, go shadow a doctor, we will help them to log that so they can get credit for that.”

Not everything new is being offered with the district's oldest students in mind. A special partnership is being worked out between the school district and YMCA.

“Basically it's going to be a situation where they have a half day of academics with S.T.E.A.M. – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – and then they'll go to the Y (for activities), if parents choose, for the afternoon. We'll bus the kids there and then the parents will be able to pick their child up at the Y when they get off work,” said Powell. “We're still working on the details of that, but were real excited about that opportunity. Hopefully that will increase the number of kids participating, too.”

In the hope of bolstering attendance, the start of summer school is being pushed back. It will start Monday, June 5, and wrap up on Friday, June 23.

“It's a week after Memorial Day,” said Powell. “We hope by giving them a couple of weeks off after school is out, maybe families can take a vacation. And maybe kids will be recharged and refreshed, and their parents are ready for them to go back to school, so hopefully we'll get more of them back into summer school.”

Powell stressed that summer school is being designed with students in mind.

“We just want opportunities for our kids K through 12,” he said. “At the K through 8 level we're really looking at that S.T.E.A.M. concept and at the high school level we're looking at getting kids ready for post-graduation opportunities by getting the reduced college credit, those types of things, to give them an advantage when they graduate from Hannibal High School.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com