Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows schools fuller in summer

Elementary program was popular, school board hears at first meeting

There were more kids than ever in summer school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district in 2015, as an elementary summer program was added.

There could be even more in the future.

The summer learning experience was a highlight of the summer learning report trustees heard at their first school board meeting of the year last Wednesday.

There were 447 elementary students who signed up for summer school programs at four different locations.

Those K-7 students took 40 hours of instruction, three hours per day on weekday mornings, from July 7 to 23.

Teachers were encouraged to teach to their passions, with less emphasis on textbooks.

“It was a great experience, and I hope it will be offered again next year,” said trustee Korleen Carreras.

“What are the plans for next year?” asked trustee Lisa Beare. “How much bigger can we make it?”

Kim Bondi, continuing education principal, said that will depend on the demand from parents, but added that the program is “scale-able.”

He pointed out that the original plan was to do a summer school for 150 elementary students, but the project grew as demand increased.

At the secondary level, there were 650 students who took 775 courses.

Of those, there were 711 successful completions of the course.

The classes were at Thomas Haney secondary, and there were remedial classes for students in Grades 8, 9 and 10, and full course credits for Grades 10, 11 and 12.

There were 350 students taking remedial courses in Grades 8-10, more than in past years.

Jeff Curwen, secondary summer learning principal, said the B.C. Teachers’ Federation labour unrest, which bookended last summer, may have contributed to the need for more remedial classes.

The Connected Learning Community, the district’s online school, also offered a summer learning program, with 16 courses on a fast-track model. There were another 176 students enrolled, with 97 successful completions, and another 45 close to completion, but having been provided additional time.

The total number of students who registered for a summer learning offering by the district, whether at elementary, secondary or online, was 1,273.

 

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