The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board hosted a Summer Learning Program throughout the month of July and the kids were not complaining about keeping busy.
Nadia Zanatta, the Vice Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes French Immersion in Elliot Lake is the Summer Learning Program Administrator.

“I am so proud to have led this amazing group,” she enthused. “The feedback from parents was outstanding. Students were excited to attend – consistent attendance was apparent! This program offers so much opportunity and the accessibility of this program, being virtual, allowed all students in our board’s jurisdiction to participate!”

The program ran from July 6th – 24th delivered virtually through the Google Classroom. 140 students are enrolled in the program from the various schools in both the Sudbury and Algoma districts.

Because the program is offered virtually – for the first time ever – students from Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River, Elliot Lake, Massey, Espanola, Chapleau and Wawa joined together in the learning. “Classrooms were structured by grade – so students within the various communities of the board were grouped together and learn so much from each other.”

Nine students are enrolled in the program from Sacred Heart in Espanola, as well as three from St. Mary School in Massey.

“The Ministry of Education mandated two hours of synchronous learning for each day of the program, where students and staff engage in live instruction through Google Meet, with a focus of math and language. Through this platform, various break out rooms can be created for smaller group instruction,” explains Zanatta.

“The program employed one administrator, eight teachers, four learning engagement teachers, 13 skill builders, six tutors, and one Indigenous support worker with one of the skill builders, Carly Robinson hailing from the local area.

“A variety of relationship-building and partnership activities have made themselves apparent through the Summer Learning Program. Science North provided specific class programming, where students engaged in live science lessons, instruction, Q&A sessions, and live science shows. Each class was assigned a bluecoat to deliver instruction.”

“Backpack deliveries were made to all students in the program in mid-July. Each backpack had a t-shirt, Frisbee, pencil crayons, markers, pencils, crayons, sticky notes, an Indigenous read aloud, highlighters, dry erase markers, a deck or cards, modelling clay, and an activity booklet.

“The Healing Loft in Sault Ste. Marie provided two recorded parent webinars from Psychotherapist Sheila Paluzzi, as well as 30 recorded body breaks to integrate into the synchronous learning, created by Sarah Fratesi and Anne Marie Caicco, teachers by trade.”

Another offering within the Summer Learning Program was the weekly recreation activity schedule – where students have the opportunity to engage in live activities outside of the synchronous learning time. Kate Collette from Miss Kate’s Dance Studio offers weekly hip hop classes. Other activities include yoga, fitness, magic/illusion, meditation, and much more!

HSCDSB Pizza Night is also an initiative within the Summer Learning Program. Students from Massey and Espanola picked up their Free pizza from DFR Sports Bar & Eatery in Espanola- promoting food, family, and fun! Sharing a meal with your family has so much learning involved!

Jo-Anne Graham, an ECE with Our Lady of Fatima School is a Skill Builder in the K2 class in the Summer Learning Program.
“I absolutely loved being a part of the Summer Learning Program. I was a little skeptical at first on how it would work for the Kindergarten students, but it has been so great! Our students have been so energetic and interested each day. The synchronous live learning is fantastic, being able to see the students and teach a live lesson has really helped keep the students focused and engaged. It has been a really great experience, and I can’t wait to bring all that I have learned back into my classroom in the fall.”