OREM — Utah lawmakers touring Alpine School District's summer school sites this morning gave the pilot program a big thumb's up.

"From a legislative perspective, we're very happy," said Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork.

The district's high school extended-year program touches on several issues state lawmakers have been talking about for years, including providing teachers with opportunities for more pay and using school facilities wisely.

Alpine district launched the first block of its extended year program on June 2 with 800 students at two sites: Mountain View High School in Orem for south-area students and Lehi High School for north-area students.

"I think it's terrific — a very creative approach," said Rep. Lorie Fowlke, R-Orem.

"It's a great use of resources, both in buildings and teachers. And it benefits our students enormously."

About one-third of the students are taking accelerated courses, while the remaining two-thirds are in remedial classes.

The second summer school block begins June 24.

The classes, which are two hours and 10 minutes, run from 7:50 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.

Many students are taking three classes back to back.

The classes range from 15 to 25 students.

There is a $25 registration fee but if a student successfully passes the class, they will receive a refund.

"Kids can really take advantage of this and we feel very good about it," said Alpine District Superintendent Vernon Henshaw.

The summer school program is costing Alpine district $500,000. This includes teacher salaries, clerical, administration, counselors, custodial, textbooks and technology support, said Alpine district business administrator Rob Smith.

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