Summer school keeps academic edge sharp


Centre for Specialized Learning has spaces left for 2 summer sessions
Friday July 15, 2011 — Kristian Partington

For a child or teenager, the summer break from school can be a great time of exploration and joy but for some, the break can also mean a bit of a setback in terms of academic progress.

This can be true for typical children and those with developmental disabilities alike, and summer school — even a short session — can be a helpful tool to help avoid regression.

The Centre for Specialized Learning offers Summer School for students 13 and older who have developmental and learning disabilities in three individual two-week blocks, each with a separate theme.

“The basic emphasis is on social development while increasing expressive language and social participation,” says administrative assistant and volunteer co-ordinator Hina Mahmood.

She says there are other programs, such as one-on-one reading programs, which carry on year-round along with after-school programs, but the Summer School is a major focus right now.

The first “Media Arts” session is currently underway, but Hina says spaces are still available in the two upcoming sessions: Performance Arts from July 25 to Aug. 5 and Health and Fitness from Aug. 8 to 19.

Program manager Pat Hanbury says there is a strong focus on confidence in social interactions, which is as important in the sessions as reading and numeracy. Teachers, university students and volunteers all contribute to the program, and Pat notes that the “high complement of facilitation” is a part of the program’s appeal for parents.

“People find that keeping their child engaged in a range of community activities is really important for the summer and our summer school program really helps with that,” says Pat.

The sessions, which cost $500 each, are held from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday at Windermere Secondary School, right at the border between Vancouver and Burnaby. There is a bursary program available to help cover costs, which are considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more information click here.

If you have questions or comments please contact 800-294-0051, ext. 24, or e-mail kristian(at) 

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