Three years after tuition fees were abolished for summer school courses and School District 43 staff were swamped with registrants, the annual sign-up for summer high school credit classes has become routine, almost dull.
Thanks to online registration, parents no longer have to line up to enrol their kids, complaints are few and everything seems to be running smoothly, says Sarah Husband, district principal for Coquitlam Open Learning.
"We're just really on target," said Husband, who added that approximately 2,000 students have registered for high school credit courses since online registration opened May 17 but most courses still have room.
Three years ago, the province announced summer school would be free and the doors opened to register more than 3,000 students. This year, Husband expects to register more than 4,000 students for high school credit, skill-building and remedial courses - about 15% of SD43's regular school enrolment.
"Online is easier for families and easier for the district overall," she said, agreeing that the system has been vastly improved over past years when families lined up, sometimes for hours. To make sure the process goes smoothly, Husband said, students should either update last year's account, if they have one, or get a new one because it can take up to three or four days to process them.
The district has also added a new date for the opening of registration for elementary skill-building courses, which is now June 9 at 6 a.m., instead of June 7. Registration for secondary and middle skill building programs is still Tuesday, June 7 at 6 a.m.
Meanwhile, registration for remedial courses has to be in person at Montgomery Learning Centre on June 21, 22, 29 and 30, and students must have a signed form from their schools. Registration hours vary so check out online.sd43.bc.ca for details.
While summer is supposed to be a time for relaxation and re-tooling, many students still plan to take courses and do so for many reasons. Husband said some want to boost their marks for a scholarship or to get into a special program while others take a course to free up their fall schedules and still others want to re-take a course to get a higher grade.
"They're challenging courses that these kids are taking," Husband said.
New this year is a Grade 1 French Immersion language arts class at Parkland elementary school for students who were in French Immersion kindergarten this year and need a little extra practice before entering Grade 1.