On Tuesday, some students in Columbia reported to class for the first day of summer school.
Summer school is something both students and teachers usually try to avoid, but schools are trying to change the way students think about learning in the summer. Schools want to make sure these students take their summer studies seriously.
"If they're coming to summer school, we want them to attend as much as possible. If they attend every hour of every day, they get a $100 gift card," summer school Assistant Principal Ryan Link said.
Two teachers said the gift cards make students work harder.
"It's proven to make sure the kids don't fall so far behind in summer. And this is just an incentive to get as many kids as we can into summer school," teacher Kerri Sommer said.
"They get the gift cards and they earn tickets for good behavior. But, I make sure they know why i gave them a ticket... I made a good choice, I listened. So they're kind of seeing those good behaviors for school," teacher Kari Reams said.
Cash prizes aren't the only reward kids get from the program.
"I think the most beneficial part of summer school is keeping kids in the routine, keeping them in the routine of school," Link said.
"They get to do fun activities they may not get to do at home. It keeps them in the school mode, so they're ready in the fall, and they just get to be with kids and have fun," Reams said.
Columbia schools hope they can change the way kids think about summer school, so they can better prepare them for the grade ahead.
"It's almost a preview of that grade, and they're working on objectives to help them be more prepared for the grade they're going in to," Link said.
So maybe students will no longer see summer school as a punishment, but as a fun summer well spent.
There are 13 different summer school sites in Columbia. School officials said that number has been growing every year.
Select a station to view its upcoming schedule: