Summer school grows to over 400 students, athletes

By Nikta Mansouri

The Harvard-Westlake Summer Program is the biggest it’s ever been and is continuing to grow, said Jim Patterson, Dean of Students and Director of Summer Programs. It’s not like a day camp, instead focusing on academics, athletics and arts, and the purpose is to enrich the students, Patterson said.

Patterson has been directing the summer program for five years and it’s had “a lot of growth,” he said. In the past five years it’s had about 15 percent growth every year, and the program is stretching out a lot more to non-Harvard-Westlake students.

Before it was mostly all Harvard-Westlake students but this year has been reduced to 54 percent Harvard-Westlake students.

Even though a lot of the students don’t go to Harvard-Westlake, the summer program isn’t used for recruitment, Patterson said.

There are a total of 397 currently and that number is expected to increase throughout the rest of the summer, as students sign up for the classes in the late summer, Patterson said. There are at least 40 classes this year on both the middle and upper campuses. Four new classes were added this year for younger students for enrichment and are all doing very well, said Patterson.

Patterson ballparks that this year the student to teacher ratio is 10-1. Some classes may have four students in them and others 20, said Patterson.

The most popular classes this year were Journalism, Film Camp, and the Performing Arts camp, said Patterson.Patterson said that the atmosphere during the summer isn’t much different from the school year except that it’s less stressful and the kids don’t normally have homework or tests.

“I like summer school because it’s a lot less stressful and there isn’t any homework or grades. It’s also shorter hours so I get to sleep in more which I really enjoy,” JJ Woronoff ’15 said.

The construction on Coldwater Canyon hasn’t been too big an issue except that some parking is hard to get to.

The track and field and soccer programs were moved to the middle school because of the construction on the field. The Writing the Research Paper took a field trip to the UCLA Library because of the construction in the library, Patterson said.

Mansouri was a student in the Journalism and New Media Class at the Harvard-Westlake Summer Program.