You've heard the threat. And at one time, it may have even been directed at you.
"If you don't bring your grades up, you'll end up in summer school."
It's a common assumption that the group of students slaving away indoors - and outdoors, for that matter - while their counterparts are at home goofing off during the summer break, are the "bad" students. The kids who skipped class, slacked off or otherwise just failed.
For the most part, that's the case. More than 800 students are currently taking summer school at Tokay High School and Lodi Middle School. Approximately 75 percent of those students are retaking classes that they did not do well in, according to Bill Toledo, principal at Plaza Robles High School who helps oversee summer school.
Often overlooked, though, is a different breed of summer school students. The ones who take the boring, required classes during the six-week term so they can free up time for band, photography or advanced placement chemistry.
Richard Carreon, an incoming senior at Tokay High School, hopes taking U.S. government and economics during the summer will help lighten his load.
With the extra time he's bought, Carreon will focus on his duties as the Tokay High marching band's drum major and take a conflict mediation class.
He said he's not jealous of his friends, who get to relax during their break, mostly because a lot many of them are in summer school with him.
"If you surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you, you then get more motivated," Carreon said.
Neil Young, principal of interventions and supplemental programs at Lodi Unified, said that as long as he can remember, there's always been a population of overachievers in summer school classes.
"With a traditional six-period (schedule), there's a limit on what you can do," Young said.
Bridget King, 17, a senior at Tokay High, knows that limit well. She's trying to get a couple classes out of her way so she can tutor high school English during her free period.
King said she's using this teaching experience as first step toward her ultimate goal: working with special needs students.
Other students use the six-week session to get rid of the "boring" classes during the summer so they won't have to suffer through them during the school year.
That's the plan for Lodi High School senior Ashley Douglas, 16.
She'll use the extra space in her schedule to squeeze in a Regional Occupational Program business class - a line of study she plans to continue in college.
• Lodi Unified offers 31 classes during two three-week sessions
including: English, math and science for all four grade
• Summer school started June 11 and will end July 20.
• Classes meet Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
• Classes include all graduation requirements as well as California Exit Exam courses.
- News-Sentinel staff.
Douglas, who has taken optional summer school classes since freshman year, is joined by her two sisters.
She said she doesn't mind studying during the summer because if she wasn't, she would probably just be wasting time.
"I would probably just be at home, asleep," Douglas said.
Jairo Cortes, a Tokay High senior, agrees and so do his parents.
"They kind of like me being here because usually I'm not doing anything at home," said Cortes, 16.
But for Cortes' friend, Javier Cristerna, 17, summer school is a necessity, but not because of his grades.
Cristerna, also a senior at Tokay, will be graduating early to join the Marines. He'll report to boot camp in January.