By Austin Lee
With an increase of around 10 percent from last year, the Harvard-Westlake Summer Program had the highest class enrollment in its history this summer.
A total of 740 students attended this year, according to Director of Summer Programs Jim Patterson, and they participated in programs from the Gold Medal Sports Camp to SAT preparation classes and coming from both Harvard-Westlake and other schools in the area.
The total class enrollment was 971.5, compared to the 700 students and 880.5 enrollments of last year, with the .5’s coming from half enrollments in a sports camp and the Conservatory.
The 10 percent growth of this year is actually one of the smallest growth rates of the past few years for the program, with numbers usually ranging from above 10 percent up to 15 percent.
This constant growth for the past few years is a result of an expansion of courses offered by the program, according to Patterson.
Among the classes added was a second session to the college essay writing class, allowing students to get a head start on what gives “a lot of pressure” to students, Patterson said. Other new classes were Screen Writing, Advanced Film, Figure Drawing, Oil Painting, Digital Arts and Graphics Design and Digital Photography.
Alongside the expansion of courses, the summer school has been changed so that most of the programs are offered over the same time period, which has added a “vibrance which [the program] did not have six to seven years ago,” Patterson said.
This growth of the program started in 2006 with the addition of the Gold Medal Sports Camp, said Patterson, which caused an increase in the enrollment of the sports program from around 300 to 500 attendees.
Following this expansion of the athletics program, the arts, from performing to visual arts, experienced a burst of expansion, spearheaded by the expansion of the film camp, and followed by expansion in the performing arts, with the Conservatory, and the other visual and fine arts.
In the coming years, Patterson hopes to expand in the the third and final remaining field of the summer programs, academics, which he feels is the area in which the program is lacking.
“The three areas which we are strong at in the school year are the areas which I’d like the summer program to be strong at,” said Patterson.