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Thousands sign up within minutes for summer school in Burnaby

New classes on offer during the Burnaby school district's summer session this year include Garage Band, an instrument-free music class that will run out of Brantford Elementary.
Summer school 2022dWEB
Michelle Marchioro maneuvers a robot during a summer school class at Kitchener Elementary School in July 2022.

The Burnaby school district’s summer school program continues to break its own registration records.

More than 5,700 registrations flooded in during the first hour of elementary registration on April 11.

By Tuesday afternoon, the district had received 9,017 elementary and high school registrations, compared to 6,142 by the same time last year.

“It’s very brisk; it’s nice,” said Ces Martino, the district principal in charge of summer school. “I think it speaks to that parents see it’s a quality program, and they feel like it’s a place where they see kids are having a positive experience and learning things; they’re having fun.”

As always, hands-on classes, such as music, art and robotics, filled up the fastest, but Martino said parents who didn’t get their kids in should keeping checking the school district website daily because spots open up when students withdraw, and extra sections are added based on demand.

On Tuesday morning, for example, the district added 12 new sections of “sold out” courses.

Demand is especially high on the north side of the city, according to Martino, and afternoon classes were added at Kitchener and Brentwood Park elementary schools. Four extra classes were also added at Capitol Hill Elementary.

A couple of courses offered for the first time last year (Comic Creation and Hip Hop and Health) took off and were expanded this year.

Two new courses were also added this year, including Garage Band for intermediate students. It’s an instrument-free music class that will run out of Brantford Elementary.

“Kids get to use the (Garage Band) app to make music, which is cool,” Martino said. “I have a feeling it will fill up pretty quick when parents become aware of it.”

At the high school level, the district is partnering with SFU to offer Becoming a Digital Activist and Other Tools for Surviving an Online Life.

Most of that course, which runs from July 5 to Aug. 4, will take place at SFU on Burnaby Mountain.

The class is designed to help Grade 10 to 12 students develop critical thinking skills and creative tools to make sure they have a positive digital impact. Students also earn credits towards graduation.

The elementary school summer school program runs from July 5 to 21; the secondary program runs from July 5 to Aug. 4.

For more information on all the summer session offerings, visit the Burnaby school district website.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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