Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills School District 181 is reporting a spike in enrollment in its Summer Learning Program that is designed to keep students interested in learning and enhancing skills over summer break.
The district had a 117 percent increase in enrollment in summer school classes in 2013 compared to two years ago, according to district officials.
Superintendent Renee Schuster recently issued a report summarizing some of the findings about the classes in the Summer Learning Program that took place from June 11 to July 3 at Prospect School in Clarendon Hills.
Enrollment grew from 244 students in 2011 to 355 in 2012 to 531 in 2013, she said.
A total of 531 students took part in 920 classes.
"Some of those students took more than one class. A student can take as many as four, one-hour classes since the program was held from 8 a.m. to noon," said Bridget McGuiggan, director of communications for the district.
The program was led by 37 teachers and administrators in the areas of advanced learning, skill building and music. Some of the classes that were offered included Lego Robotics, Summer Science, a weeklong Broadway Bound musical theater camp, claymation, guitar, advanced math and insect studies.
McGuiggan said the wide variety of classes is one reason why summer school enrollment has increased. The district tries to keep the content engaging and helpful for students as they prepare for the next school year, she said.
"We encourage our teachers to suggest new classes that match their interest and the interest of students, and we also want to continue classes that have been successful in the past," she said.
McGuiggan said the enrollment upswing is also due to the district marketing efforts to bring in more students from within the district and from neighboring districts. She also said the location of the classes is convenient.
The district also offered Extended School Year for 87 students from preschool to eighth grade. The purpose of the program is to prevent regression academically over the summer months. Participation in the program is based on students' Individual Education Plans. The program offered 21 days of classes. Seventeen of the students also participated in the Summer Learning Program.