Attendance Soars in DPIE After School Enrichment Program

Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
April 27, 2022

A record number of 1,166 elementary students have enrolled in one or more of 74 in-person enrichment courses currently running as part of the DPIE After School Enrichment Program at the eight elementary schools in the Dublin Unified School District this spring.

Dublin families have always valued enrichment programs for their kids and after 1½ years of isolation because of the pandemic, there is great excitement on the part of parents and students alike to be back in the classroom and having fun while they learn. These after school classes are a great release that bring joy to students
Tara Bhuthimethee, Dublin parent and DPIE Board Member

Covid Hurt Participation

Pre-pandemic, DPIE’s enrollment numbers rose to more than 1,000 students in each of the Fall, Winter and Spring sessions in the 2019 – 2020 school year, but the pandemic took the wind out of everyone’s sails in March 2020 when all schools in the area shut down in-person classes and moved to online learning through the 2020 – 2021 school year.

The rapid comeback in enrollment numbers this year caught DPIE by surprise and says a great deal about the frustration and isolation caused by online learning. With the fear of Covid as the major concern, just 314 students enrolled in the Fall in-person session. But the advent of vaccinations and the slow-down of Covid cases bolstered everyone’s confidence in in-person classes and teachers, parents and students became more comfortable with the idea of being back in school.

Thankful Parents

Enrollment doubled to 669 students in the Winter session and this Spring session saw a record number of 1,166 students enrolled in one or more of the 74 courses offered on Dublin elementary campuses.

“Parents are thankful for the return of in-person enrichment courses offered through DPIE.   DPIE offers such a great variety of programs for kids and many parents like myself are pleased with what my kids have learned.  It doesn’t surprise me that the program continues to grow because of the convenience, program variety and staff that teach the courses.  DPIE has a wonderful reputation for excellence and knowing that they give back to the schools makes them an even more amazing program that benefits so many students. 

There is a lot of value in having not only enrichment classes offered on our home campus but also having some of our amazing Dublin teachers teaching many of them.”   PFC Events Chair and Dublin Elementary parent, Phuong Fiscella.

Introduction of New Courses

The 2021 – 2022 school year saw the introduction of new courses offered by new and returning DUSD teachers and vendors.

CompuChild has been one of our most popular vendors this year, offering Lego Robotics and Snap Circuits that are hands-on learning experiences for students while they also learn to code. For those budding actors and actresses in our community, Kenn Adams Synergy Theater has returned and is leading Actors Workshop classes at all eight elementary schools with many classes full and leaving students on the waitlist to get into the program.

Pacific Chess Academy has more than 200 students learning to play Chess this Spring and students are once again competing in Chess tournaments each quarter. Other popular vendors and courses include Gurus Education public speaking classes, art courses led by instructors from Café Art and many students are expressing their talents in Bollywood dance classes taught by instructors from Bollynaach Dance Company.

Once again, DUSD teachers are “teaching their passion” and a wide variety of courses are being offered in the schools. New to the after school enrichment program this Spring are Kolb Teacher, Ms. Katie Barnes and Ms. Christine Jeffries from Amador, who are both offering a writing course and also from Amador, Ms. Vanessa Leong, who is happy to have kids actively engaged in her Yoga for Kids course.

Introduction to Cartooning & Making Comics Course with Ms Jennifer de Oliveira at Dublin Elementary.

Long-time DPIE teachers, Mr John Price and Ms Lina Barakat from Dougherty Elementary, are teaching their popular Life Science in the Garden and Book Club courses and Ms Jennifer de Oliveira, Ms Monica McCleod, Mr Karl Osicki, Ms Michele Chandler and Ms Judie Greenhouse from Dublin Elementary are leading classes in Cartooning, Engineering with Keva Planks, Kiddie Coding, Typing and Introduction to Piano.  At Kolb Elementary, Ms. Allison Tomcik is once again teaching her Code to the Future and Engineering course while Ms Stacy Alvarez is teaching her well-know "How to Become a Better Writer" course, which filed very quickly.  

From Amador we welcomed back Ms Molly McCrory, who is once again teaching her popular and sold out Oodles of Doodles class and she is joined by colleagues and DPIE teachers, Ms Elizabeth Littlejohn in her Creative Writing course, Ms Angelina Jennaro who is leading a Reading Comprehension class and Ms Christine Miller whose "Fun With Fossils" class is completely full and giving rise to a whole new generation of young anthropologist.

Judging by the growing enrollments this Spring, it appears that students are having fun while they learn.  Plans are under way to offer even more choices for Dublin families in the 2022 – 2023 school year.