- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) - Some students at Mandan High School are getting a jump on the next academic year by spending the summer in school.

More than half of the students at the school are taking summer courses, and most of them willingly enrolled to get ahead for next year, the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1G9HYhn ) reported.

Those in Diane Pettit’s geology class recently spent two days in the Badlands collecting sediments of rocks and minerals.

“I like learning about rocks,” incoming junior Taylor Anderson said. “They don’t offer this course during the year, so I wanted to try it out.”

Other classes offered this summer include English and biology.

Students aren’t the only ones eager to spend time in a classroom while the thermometer reads 80 and pools are open for the season.

“It’s a way for me to still be in the classroom,” said Pettit, who works as a counselor at the high school during the rest of the year.

In Bismarck, summer school has begun with hundreds of students enrolled at each high school and dozens at the middle schools. More than 1,800 elementary students are attending “Camp Edventure” this summer, which focuses on math and reading skills.

“I wanted to fit more electives into my schedule,” said an incoming freshman, Rachel Schall. She added that she wants to take interior design, fashion, choir and Spanish over the next two years.

The state Department of Public Instruction provides funding for summer school programs in districts based on a count of student hours, according to Darin Scherr, business and operations manager for Bismarck Public Schools. Bismarck received around $2.9 million for its summer school programs last year.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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