By Julia ’15 and Baxter ’16
At 9:00 a.m. on March 3, online registration for Marlborough Summer School opened, and all Camp Mustang swim lessons, a robot-creating workshop, and a video game design class filled within half-an-hour. By the end of the day, five of the 235 summer school sessions were completely full.
Marlborough Summer School has used online registration for four years, and each year, families register their children earlier and earlier. Last year, when Summer School began on June 29, about 729 students were enrolled in Marlborough’s summer programs. Already this year, 576 students are enrolled. This summer, Marlborough will hold a one-week special session from June 16 until June 20 and a five-week camp from June 23 until July 25.
Marlborough Summer School differs from most day camps because students have the freedom to create their own schedules based on the classes that they are interested in. Assistant Director of Marlborough Summer School and Math instructor Jennifer Uribe believes that this freedom is why Marlborough Summer School is so popular.
“Students and parents can choose what their kids are interested in, so they build their own schedule. They get to choose if they want to take a dance class or a robotics class, and the ability to do that is why the workshops are so popular.”
The downside to this freedom is that students may not gain admittance to their preferred classes, however, because enrollment is first-come-first-served.
This year, more than 160 Marlborough students applied to work at Marlborough Summer School. A few current seniors, including Jodi ’14, applied to work at Summer School in order to spend more time with their friends before college.
“I’m going to college next year, and I think it would be nice to have a job before I go to get experience working a job as well as working with people in a different setting. I also thought it would be nice to spend some more time with my friends who are also applying before we move to opposite ends of the country,” Jodi said.
Typically, 16 students enroll in each Marlborough Summer School class, but some classes have a maximum class size of 10 or 12 students. If a student doesn’t get in to his or her first choice class, he or she is added to a waiting list in case space in the class opens up. If there are not enough children enrolled in a class, Uribe and Director of Marlborough Summer School Julie Napoleon may drop the class entirely and use the vacated space to offer another period of a popular class.
Foreign Languages Department Head and former Assistant Director of Summer School Leigh Hansen still devotes a lot of time to developing and organizing the summer program based on demand.
“[Summer School] is very popular, especially for certain age groups. [So far] second grade to 4th grade are our highest-enrolled groups, and we try to offer as many different classes as we can,” Hansen said.
This year, registration for summer classes ends on June 29. Uribe hopes that Marlborough will surpass its numbers from last year so the School can keep expanding the program.