Warren Buckler, principal of summer school, at Medicine Hat High School where summer classes take place.MHN PHOTO SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Registration for summer school is now open.

“The demographic of summer school has shifted,” said summer school principal Warren Buckler. “It started off with about 140 kids and we were running primarily remedial and non-academic classes.”

Buckler has been with the summer school program for about nine years. Over that time, the number of students has more than doubled and the remedial classes haven’t been offered for about five years. Now, registrations are for academic classes and the students are those wanting to accelerate or create space in their high school program.

“Summer school is either 21 or 22 days, depending on the year. We have to count back from the diploma exams until the end of school and fill that space,” explained Buckler. This year, summer school will run 21 days and begin on July 3, with classes ending July 31. The first week of August is reserved for diploma exams for the 30-level students.

Students are allowed to take two classes but need to be up to the challenge. Five months of material will be covered in that short period of time with approximately three lessons a day being taught.

“If kids are motivated and they want to do it, we certainly allow them to. We’ve had lots of kids be successful that way,” said Buckler.

Two classes won’t work for those with a summer job or extracurricular activities. Classes run about three-and-a-half hours per day with morning and afternoon sessions. A full range of academic classes are offered – maths, sciences, English and social studies – but each class needs an average of 10 students. If there aren’t enough, the class won’t run. As a result, each student who registers picks an alternate course in case the first one is cancelled.

“We have a good group of teachers. There has been very little turnover for the last seven or eight years. They are high quality, dedicated teachers who are used to teaching at that pace,” stated Buckler.

Currently, there are 133 registrations for the upcoming summer school, with registrations for high school classes taken until June 23. The school also offers English and math at the Grade 8 and 9 levels. Junior high courses are shorter, only two hours a day, and don’t run for as many days, so registration for those classes closes July 5. That way students can register after they’ve received their report cards and know if they need to upgrade before entering high school in September.

Summer school is open to all students in Medicine Hat and area from each of the three divisions.

“The only caveat for us is students are only able to earn 10 credits in the summer,” explained Buckler. If a student is taking a summer school class somewhere else or work experience that is worth credits, they need to keep that in mind as they can’t exceed the 10-credit limit during the summer months.

For more information on summer school 2023, call 403-528-6700 ext. 3150, email summer.school@sd76.ab.ca or register at MHPSD.ca/Register.

By SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 29, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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