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Sun’s out, school is in! Summer learning provides valuable learning opportunities outside of the school year

| Categories: Curriculum & Learning, Programs, Curriculum & Learning, Programs
Maria Fantini's summer learning class at Mount Pleasant

Over the past month, students have been attending summer learning programs at eight elementary schools and four secondary schools across the DistrictStudents have been reviewing knowledge from past years and learning new skills from the language arts, mathematics, science and social studies curriculum. This week, all summer learning programs across the District will concludeTo mark the end of the termmany students celebrated and held demonstrations of their learning. 


At Mount Pleasant Elementary, Maria Fantini’s class ended their summer school with a musical performance in front of their family and friends. Some students recited poems they had composed themselves; other students were led by Fantini in ukulele performances of songs like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me”. Summer school principal Joseph Mergens also joined the performance by providing percussion. 


“It really showcases their learning and their love of music through collaboration,” Fantini says. 


At Trafalgar Elementary, the summer learning program focused on mixing classroom education with outdoor learning opportunities. Teacher Cindy Tsang’s class was focused on developing math and literacy skills through sport.  


“I learned how to play sports like ultimate frisbee and learned about new rules in sports like basketball,” says Henry, one of Tsang’s students. “One of my favourite things I learned is how to create your own sports store. I created something called the Triangle Sports Store. We sell all equipment.” 


Summer learning programs took place in secondary schools as well. Secondary programs are intended for students who would benefit from additional instruction, who wish to improve their grades, or who wish to take a pre-requisite for post-secondary courses.  


Some classes were science focused and involved students learning about physics or organic chemistry. Others were based on the language arts. Summer learning students at John Oliver Secondary read books like Kim Spencer’s Weird Rules to Follow and then discussed themes, ideas or concepts in the text. Students at Gladstone Secondary were visited by Ray McKeown, a Métis Lakota artist, who spoke with them about Indigenous culture and history. 


Summer learning programs will wrap up in secondary schools on July 28, 2023. Elementary school programs ended the week prior. Summer learning will be available in 2024 next year, with registration opening in the Spring. 


Whether in elementary or secondary school, summer learning programs provide valuable opportunities for students of all ages to continue their education outside of the regular school year. 


“I think for kids its nice for them to develop new friendships, meet people outside of their schools and make new connections,” Tsang says. “But it also allows them to keep routine during the summer. Even though it’s just three hours, it’s nice to wake up every day still and do the same thing.” 

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