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Summer students take hybrid approach to English studies

Under St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education, the Secondary Summer Credit Program is designed to give students an opportunity to obtain a high school credit or upgrade a mark previously obtained.

This year, over 770 students have registered in-class which runs from July 3 to July 27. In total, almost 2000 students have registered for summer school which also includes E-learning, co-op and Independent Learning Courses (ILC).

“Our ability to provide different options in terms of learning formats, have been able to suit the learning needs of many students,” said St. Charles Summer Coordinator Charlie Agro.

“We’re grateful for the many teachers and support staff that have committed to the productive and inclusive learning experience."

At Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, Teachers Amanda Monaco, Caitlin Galvin and Barrett Giles teach the Grade 12 University English course, focusing on non-fiction, poetry and media.

“The majority of my students are science students and are using summer school to reach ahead,” said Monaco.

Knowing this, she noted that sometimes having six-hour days of strictly reading and writing can be challenging.

As a way to foster a new-found appreciation for literature, Monaco, along with her teaching partners, adapted aspects of the course content to incorporate other subjects like art or technology.

In one instance, Monaco assigned students to create a book cover for a character from the novel, "Life of Pi." Students were encouraged to get creative with different mediums, like paint and markers, and consider different symbols, images and colours that would best reflect the character.

“It pulls them in, breaks up the norm of always writing and engages students,” she said.

“It's a fast-paced course so it's nice to have a creative break,” said.

As a result, Monaco finds students are more engaged in the content and are able to express themselves more easily.

With technology, Monaco is able to help involve students in class participation. Using the Microsoft application Flipgrid, a virtual discussion board, students are able to post 1-minute presentations to be shared with peers in regard to course content.

By using digital technology, Monaco notes that students who are perhaps shy during class presentations or speaking out in class are more comfortable sharing their take on the novel from the comfort of their home.

It’s also a way for other classmates to connect with each other as they can watch and comment on their friends’ video – similar to social media, but with an educational twist.

“It’s like hybrid learning,” she said.

“They produce better work when they enjoy what they're doing.”


The Secondary Summer Credit Program is offered at St. Thomas More, Bishop Ryan and Cathedral Secondary Schools and St. Charles. In addition to in-class learning, students can also opt for E-learning courses. For more information, please visit: ... .

Grade 12 students work on painting their book cover for the novel
Grade 12 students work on painting their book cover for the novel "Life of Pi."

Summer students take hybrid approach to English studies