Ingenuity Charter school students
Alex, David, and Daniel work together to solve problems in their courses.

By Sarah Beauchemin

As summer rapidly approaches, parents are starting to think about quality options for keeping their kids academically and socially engaged during the summer months.

Luckily for San Diegans, Ingenuity Charter School will be in full swing for its fourth year, beginning on July 2.

Ingenuity’s summer session features open enrollment and is available to all sixth through 12th grade students in San Diego County. It offers programs such as credit recovery, academic enrichment, driver’s education and physical education.

Ingenuity Charter School – a hybrid learning institution that opened in 2015 – is dedicated to giving San Diego’s underrepresented students access to high-quality education that fits around their home and work responsibilities.

Summer session at Ingenuity is no different; students receive the same benefits they experience during what is considered “the regular” school year. For instance, they have 24/7 access to their online studies and also meet in person with their instructors a few times per week, as scheduled.

Bridging the Summer “Forgetfulness” Gap

An Ingenuity Charter School student receives one-on-one tutoring
David receives one-on-one support in math from his teacher.

One of the biggest benefits of Ingenuity’s July 2nd start date, is that it allows students to stay connected with their key academic subjects, such as math and Language Arts.

“We all remember coming back to school after a long summer vacation feeling like we forgot everything,” said Stephen Shilling, Ingenuity instructor and school counselor.

Summer session bridges this all-too-common, and problematic, summer “forgetfulness” gap. By being enrolled in Ingenuity’s summer session, students have the opportunity for continued learning.

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To enroll in Ingenuity’s Summer Session today, visit

For example, the summer session enrichment classes are the perfect option for sixth through eighth-grade students who wish to voluntarily stay engaged with their studies and increase their mastery of core subjects – such as math and Language Arts.

Credit recovery courses are also a central component of summer session. They offer students who have failed a course the chance to make up those credits, which will advance them onto the next grade or get them caught up and back on-track for graduation.

Driver’s education is open to students that are 15-1/2 to 17 years old. “The Driver’s Ed class satisfies the classroom requirement of the driver permitting process,” said Shilling. “Once this is completed, students take the test at the DMV and schedule their behind-the-wheel training.”

Keeping Students Active and Energized During the Summer Months

Ingenuity’s summer session is not just a way to recover academic credits.

Ingenuity is also an important way for younger students to gain enrichment and for all students to participate in a stellar physical education program, keeping them energized and in touch with their peers all summer long.

An Ingenuity Charter School student arrives on skateboard for tutoring.
Noah arrives to the Euclid Resource Center for his regularly scheduled appointment time.

Since Ingenuity students can play CIF sports with teams at The O’Farrell Charter School (OCS) – Ingenuity’s “sister” school – the summer session PE opportunities are even more exciting.

“The summer session PE courses revolve around football, tennis, basketball, and volleyball,” said John Lee, third-year Ingenuity instructor.

“This gives our students the chance to engage in a sport that they normally might not play and develop their coordination and conditioning with the respective sports,” continued Lee. “It also introduces them to team sports, which builds a camaraderie among their peers and the sense of belonging.”

All in all, Ingenuity’s summer session is especially helpful for underrepresented students in San Diego because it serves as an academic and social “safety net.”

Students have somewhere to go that they feel safe, included, and inspired during the summer months.

Another crucial aspect of Ingenuity’s summer session is that all students receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch, which they may otherwise go without.

“Summer session allows them to get more practice and build fundamental academic skills,” said Shilling. “This makes them more likely to advocate for themselves in the traditional classroom. Ingenuity will also give the underrepresented student the one-on-one help they may not get in a crowded traditional school classroom.”

Building this important sense of agency and self-empowerment leads students to view education not as a chore, but as a catalyst for opportunity as they progress into becoming successful young adults.

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