North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Aug 23
Reflections on Elementary Summer Learning

​By Sandra Singh, District Principal

The North Vancouver School District offers Summer Learning opportunities to elementary and secondary students.

Elementary Summer Learning provides students the opportunity to make new friends, build positive relationships with adults, and learn in a welcoming and inclusive student-centred environment that is focused on building confidence with core skills.

Teachers use pre-assessment strategies to gauge where learners are at and to guide instructional practice. They also use various approaches to meet the needs of each learner, such as platooning, stations, and small-group instruction.

Summer Learning support staff gather in a classroom. They are all focused towards a projected screen on the board.

A daily morning huddle with Summer Learning support staff.

Goal setting and student self-reflection are used as assessment tools to engage students in understanding their learning profile. An interim report is sent to parents and guardians mid-way through the course of the program, with a final report sent home on the last day of school.

This year, Elementary Summer Learning took place at Queen Mary Community School from July 5-20, with over 160 Grade 4 to 7 students from across the school district in attendance.

Programs offered this year at Elementary Summer Learning included a Literacy/Numeracy course for Grades 4-6 and Social Connections course for Grades 5-7.

Students gather sitting on a gym floor looking at a projected screen that says Summer Learning.

Students and staff attend the Welcome to Summer Learning assembly!

This year, Elementary Summer Learning also piloted a new offering – ELL Newcomers. English Language Learners (ELL) in Grades 4-6 from Ridgeway Elementary were invited to participate in a program designed to support connection with their peers as well as language acquisition. Home languages spoken in the ELL cohort included French, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Ukranian.

Happy Colour Fun Day is written in mulitcolour chalk on pavement.A focus at Elementary Summer Learning is having students get to know one another so that they genuinely feel they belong in their new learning environment. Connection to the program is created with many opportunities for students to interact and socialize with one another, including two school-wide Community Days. This year, the themes of the Community Days were Games Day and Colour Day. Both days were planned with the teaching staff, and students had great fun participating!

A celebration of learning took place on the last day. Students shared their accomplishments and learning journey with their families in a student-led open house format.

In September, students share their learning milestones with their classroom teacher at their respective home school. Each student creates a ‘Myself as a Learner’ book as their culminating project. This book speaks to a student’s strengths, stretches, and strategies they worked on during the program.

It is amazing how quickly the program drew to a close in late July. The lasting friendships students made with their classmates are a highlight of the program. Many students who attend look forward to returning the following summer.

Staff also look forward to another successful session of Elementary Summer Learning in 2024! Look for Summer Learning registration information in the spring.

Elementary Summer Learning is led by Ms. Diana Morris and Ms. Helen Chambers who are part of the larger Summer Learning Administration team of 11 elementary educators who bring their skill and passion to the classroom daily. Students are also supported by education assistants, an autism support worker, and a behaviour support worker.

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