Summer school in Campbell River is proving to be a hit. More than 700 students participated in elementary, middle and high school programs this year, the largest enrolment to date.
During a report to the Campbell River District School Board on Sept. 24, summer school principals Sarah O’Shannessy and Sean McLaughlin set out exactly what made this year so successful and ways the district could improve in the future.
At the elementary level, 19 courses were offered to 483 students. The courses focused largely on literacy and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). New this year was a play-based therapy course offered by a school district counsellor.
Participation numbers for middle school students lagged this year, even though programs were offered at two locations: École Phoenix and Southgate Middle Schools. Popular courses included: Design and Technology, Born to Move, Middle Years Outdoor Education and Mastering Multiplication and Division with Art Exploration.
Feedback to improve middle school student participation included more marketing at schools throughout the district and offering more trips and outdoor activities.
At the high school level, courses were offered at Robron for the first time. The board heard that Grade 9 preparation courses were popular and helped with student transitions into high school. Feedback suggested that students and teachers enjoyed smaller class sizes and new ways of learning.
O’Shannessy said summer school is really a perfect storm of teacher and student interests coming together.
“It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to work with educators who were excited to teach in areas of their passion,” she said. “Then you have students and families signing up for things they’re really interested in.
“It’s a very positive environment.”
The summer school planning team is going to look into offering full 100-hour courses for high school students next year.
Campbell River is bucking a province-wide trend of not offering summer school. Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Patrick said that the last time he looked into the issue, only 1/3 of the province’s school districts were offering summer school.