Hilliard Northwest News

Schools to offer summer 'enrichment' classes

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Summer school historically has been an opportunity for students to make up academic work missed during the school year, but this summer Hilliard students can take enrichment classes.

"It's also an opportunity for students to take electives and other kinds of classes to free up more time in their schedule for taking other classes (when they return for the regular school year)," said district spokeswoman Amanda Morris.

A culinary class, a pre-engineering class and foreign culture classes are possible offerings, based on enrollment demand.

Brent Wise, director of innovation and extended learning for Hilliard schools, outlined course offerings at the March 11 meeting of the Hilliard school board.

The idea to offer such classes spawned last year from curriculum planning for the Innovative Learning Center, Wise said.

During the past several months, administrators solicited faculty and staff for course suggestions.

Those included a variety of STEM courses -- those relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- as well as courses in Chinese and Arabic exploration.

Avery Elementary School and Heritage Middle School will offer courses June 5 to July 13 for credit recovery and credit advancement.

Officials also plan a cooking class called "Young Chefs" and an archery class, based on the popularity of The Hunger Games novel and film.

About 40 proposals were received from faculty and staff who would instruct almost all of the classes offered, Wise said.

A minimum number of students, with the number varying for each class, must register for the class in order for it to be offered. Fees for each class will vary.

In other business at the March 11 board meeting, Steve Estepp, executive director of K-12 curriculum and instruction, and Suzanne Lintz, director of data assessment, outlined the results of the district's state report card from the Ohio Department of Education.

For the fifth consecutive year, Hilliard schools earned a grade of "Excellent with Distinction," the highest possible rating.

The district also was ranked first in the state for its "value-added" rating, which calculates how much progress students in grades four through eight make in math and reading during a school year.

Estepp said while the district is pleased with the report, it is "only one part of the story" that contributes to the success of the district.

"I'm not a fan of rankings," said Superintendent Dale McVey, adding some levity by adding, "But if you have to rank us, I don't mind being one."

The report card results, McVey said, are an affirmation of what occurs in classrooms every day.

"I'll visit another classroom tomorrow ... and what I see every day can't be measured (on a report card), and that is incredible teacher practice," McVey said. "(Our report card) is something to be incredibly proud of. ... But it's only a small part of our success."

Board members approved the treasurer's financial report for January and a schedule of building-use fees.

At the conclusion of the regular meeting, board members moved into a closed executive session to discuss real estate and personnel issues.

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