Thousands of WRDSB students register for virtual summer school

Thousands of students with the Waterloo Region District School Board are registered for virtual summer school this July. Over 2,500 students at the secondary level and just over 1,000 students in Grades 6, 7, 8 are registered.

Virtual summer school is set to begin July 5 and run until the 29th

The end of the school year for elementary and high school students is just a few weeks away. For the second year in a row, the Waterloo Region District School Board will welcome thousands of students to its virtual summer school programs. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

The end of the school year is just a few weeks away, but the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) will welcome thousands of students back again in July for summer school programs.

This is will be the second year in a row that the WRDSB will offer summer school virtually, using both asynchronous and synchronous learning platforms.

There are more than 2,500 secondary students registered, and just over 1,000 students registered for transition support programs in Grades 6, 7, 8, said Ron Boer, superintendent of student achievement and wellbeing with WRDSB.

Virtual summer school will run from July 5 to 29.

Grades 6, 7, 8 summer program

The board has a course set up for Grades 6, 7, 8 that will help students sharpen their numeracy and literacy skills over a four-week period.

"We're going to be running classes at 10 to 12 students in each class and will be supported by special education resource teacher and well as their classroom teacher," DeBoer told The Morning Edition Wednesday.

There will also be opportunities for students to have one-on-one sessions with their teachers, he said.

The board also offers a summer program for English Language Learners in those grades that will focus on communication skills, reading and writing.

Grade 8 Reach Ahead course

Grade 8 students who are going into high school can take a Reach Ahead course. The program allows students to earn one credit that will count toward their overall high school credits.

"Students in this course will learn literacy skills, numeracy skills to close some of the gaps they experience in the last year, and also study skills. Skills on how to work in teams and collaborate," he said.

"We know that if students miss one credit in Grade 9, their chances of graduating diminish significantly, so for these students to get a credit before they enter secondary school is significant."

DeBoer said roughly 300 students have signed up.

High school summer program

WRDSB is offering 45 courses for high school students this summer. Most of them are in math, science and English.

Supports similar to the elementary program will also be available for high school students, DeBoer said, like adding special education resource teachers in classrooms.

DeBoer said the board added a second virtual co-op class this summer after a successful pilot in 2020, which came handy during the lock downs this school year. 

"We have almost 60 students signed up and a waiting list," he said. "We have really great interest in them."

The board is also reminding students there are different ways they can get their community service hours done over the summer.

DeBoer said students can do chores around the house, babysit siblings if parents work from home or write letters to family members in long term care homes. 


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