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Record numbers flock to Burnaby summer school program

Elementary robotics, art and music classes snapped up first as more than 1,300 sign up for courses within the first 10 minutes of summer school registration.
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Hands-on classes are popular with Burnaby students registering for summer school.

The Burnaby school district is scrambling to add more sections to its summer school courses after enrolment went bananas on the first day of registration Tuesday.

More than 1,300 people registered in the first 10 minutes alone, according to the district.

By 1 p.m., it had 5,000 registrations for elementary classes.

The previous record, set last year, was 3,000.

“We were very surprised at how quickly everything filled up, as we've never seen this after one day. Most classes are full or close to full at the elementary level,” said Ces Martino, the district principal in charge of summer school.

As always, the hands-on classes filled up very quickly, according to Martino, with spots in music, art and robotics classes snapped up the fastest.

Combined with high school registrations, which opened last week, the district had gotten more than 7,500 registrations by end of day Tuesday.

The summer program is already adding more classes at Brentwood, Capitol Hill, Marlborough and Sperling, and it is looking to add even more around the district based on site and teacher availability, so parents should keep checking back if they weren’t able to get their kids into the classes they wanted right away.

Martino said the district is seeing a “huge response” to the “continued evolution of summer learning.”

“Yes, we still offer the academic classes, and those are important, but we’ve also been ramping up hands-on learning opportunities each year,” he said. “More and more parents want their children to learn new skills, especially when they see how much they love it. Kids who have taken our classes are coming home in the summer excited to show their parents what they’ve learned – whether it’s sewing, learning how to cook or programming a robot. Parents value what their children are getting from these programs and tell other parents that there’s learning here that the students carry with them beyond the summer – whether it be a new skill that they can apply at home or having focused time to develop in music, arts, science or athletics.”

For more information, visit the school district’s summer school webpage.  

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
Email cnaylor@burnabynow.com