Delaware News

Academy stretches Hayes students, teachers

Both get chance to tackle subjects not thoroughly studied during regular classes

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Some Delaware students will still need their pencils and books, because school is not quite out for the summer.

A total of 165 gifted and highly motivated students will participate in the Summer Enrichment Academy this week at Delaware Hayes High School, taking classes that range from animation and chess to cooking.

This is the sixth year the Delaware City School District has offered the weeklong SEA program for students going into grades 3-8. It features 24 courses taught by district teachers and faculty members.

Misty Swanger, director of enrichment and college/career readiness, said she began the program in 2008 for two reasons.

First, she wanted to be able to offer more in-depth information to students who want to learn more about certain subjects that aren't covered in great detail in the classroom.

"A lot of gifted students become passionate about areas that interest them," she said, "and oftentimes, the teacher has to move on in the classroom, but the students really wanted to learn more."

In addition, she wanted to give teachers and faculty the opportunity to teach courses on matters that are not included in the classroom program, she said.

"Our teachers have things that they really want to teach and share but haven't been able because it doesn't go with the curriculum," Swanger said.

Teachers decided what courses they wanted to offer to students and wrote out descriptions for them. Students could sign up for classes through the end of last week.

The cost is $50 per class.

Classes are offered in the morning or afternoon. Students can choose just one morning class or a morning and afternoon class.

This year, the district chose to offer classes in both the morning and afternoon to avoid conflict with swimming classes and other summer activities.

As long as there are at least six students signed up for each class, it will be offered. The district capped class sizes at 12 students in order for teachers to provide more hands-on activities with the students.

Some of the most popular course offerings include app development, animation, digital photography, video production, neuroscience and chess.

Unique offerings include an art class on how to turn found objects and recyclable objects into art or useful home decor, and a science class that allows students to become forensics experts.

There also are foreign language classes that are paired with cooking, in which students can learn about Spanish and French culture as well as cook a dish from the country.

At the end of the week, there will be a gallery walk for students to put their work from the week on display.

"It's a time for students to showcase what they did as well as give other students a chance to see what other classes they could take next year," she said.

Parents, students and the public are invited to attend the gallery walk Friday, June 28, at Hayes High School.

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