Saturday School is a learning program that operates in conjunction with a traditional weekday setting. The program, as the name implies, is structured to operate on Saturday rather than taking place after regular school hours during the week. In general, Saturday School is designed for children from the kindergarten age to grade 12.
There are two common applications for a Saturday School platform. In some communities, the school on Saturday is geared toward providing additional learning opportunities for gifted students. When this is the application, the components of the program are configured to compliment the areas of study that are appropriate for each grade, but provide a degree of challenge that is above the standard curriculum. This allows students who are somewhat bored with school during the week to be intellectually stimulated on Saturdays, and possibly help to avoid the incidence of impaired performance during the week.
A second application of the Saturday School program has to do with helping students who are experiencing trouble with classes during the week. Within this setting, students who have missed a great deal of instruction due to illness have the chance to catch up with their peers by attending make up sessions on Saturdays. At the same time, students who are having difficulty assimilating information during the week have the opportunity to receive instruction from different teachers through the program, and hopefully begin to relate to the subject matter encountered during the week.
The sessions of Saturday School are often set in five to eight week sessions, and are normally accredited by the local public school jurisdiction. The content of the offered courses is approved by local and state boards of education, and typically makes use of textbooks and other materials that are approved by these agencies. Many jurisdictions offer the extra school program at no cost or a small fee, with scholarship funds available to families that cannot afford the costs. The program usually is conducted in a public school building. However, there are some examples of Saturday School programs that are housed on local college campuses.