SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WATE) – The regular school year has come to an end but for some students, they just wrapped up their first week of summer school.

Most of our area school systems offer summer classes for all grade levels. However, the new retention law has placed more emphasis on third graders. One Sevier County parent said she decided to send all of her kids to summer school, including her rising 4th grader.

When asked what her favorite part about summer school is, rising fifth grader, Charlee Roth said, “I like that we get to play outside.”

“I like school because I do math and I usually need some help with it,” said rising sixth grader King Roth.

Charlee, Lyric, and King just finished up their first week of summer school in Sevier County.

“My kids are one of the kids that sometimes struggle to keep up in the classroom and I think that it helps them with their retention,” parent Heather Washington .”A lot of times when they start back at school they forget a lot of little things that they learned throughout the year and relearn some of those little things before they can progress on to new things and sometimes it can allow them to get a little bit behind. So with summer camp, it allows them to stay on track.”

Heather said that her rising 4th grader, Lyric was required to attend or she was going to be held back.

“She does great in school,” Washington explained. “She’s straight As, maybe some Bs but as far as the test goes, I think that the summer school is a great idea for kids that need it, but I don’t think the test should make that decision.”

So far, Lyric said she’s having a good time.

“What I like about summer school is sometimes there’s lunch outside and in regular school, there’s lunch inside. So we would eat lunch outside.”

Heather said she chose to put all three kids through summer school to help curb the summer slide.

“With the reading and math, it allows them to get a little bit stronger where they lack and keeps them from falling behind throughout the summer.”

She added that although she thinks summer school is a good idea, it should be her decision as a parent and not required by law.

“I think it’s important for everyone to understand the severity of this test I think it’s terrible to expect these children to keep high morale all year long, maintain good grades all year long, and then a simple test could decide whether or not they need to go to summer school.”

Lyric and her siblings are excited and a little nervous about entering the next grade.

“It’s a different school and I’m excited to meet my teachers,” Lyric said. “I hope they’re really nice.”

Heather hopes summer school will make them a little more prepared.

WATE did reach out to several area school systems to find out how the first week of summer school went. We have not heard back from Sevier County but we did get a statement from Anderson County.

“Third-grade parents have been highly positive and eager to assist in any way needed. Students are learning to dive deep into reading comprehension, practice their math fluency skills, and engage in hands-on stem activities each day.”

Norwood Elementary School Principal Lyndsay Foust