Summer Academies Hit the Mark!

Summer 2022
Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
July 22, 2022

This summer, DPIE saw a total of 723 students enroll in DPIE enrichment and academic courses in our elementary, middle and high school academies. For the first time in three years, summer courses were taught in-person and not online.  Students and teachers alike agreed that in-person classes provided a much more powerful learning experience for students. This was particularly true for students enrolled in the elementary and middle school classes, which were all hands-on, activity-based that allowed students to build, problem solve and be actively engaged in their learning.

One of the most exciting aspects of the summer programs was to see the rapid growth in the demand for middle school enrichment courses, where 250 students enrolled in a wide variety of course offerings including coding, robotics, filmmaking, drama, computer science, writing, Medical Detectives, as well as public speaking and finance. Even more students (293) enrolled in the elementary program and both programs ran for four weeks from June 13 – July 8.

New Archery & Drama Courses Draw Rave Reviews

While all courses had their fair share of enrollments, this summer’s stars were the new “Archery for Kids” class taught by Fallon instructor, Mr. Eric Lamonica and the drama class “Are You Ready for Broadway” that culminated in the performance of the original play, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.

Archery Hits the Bullseye!

Our archery class was open to students in grades 5 – 10 and demand was so great, that a third class had to be added to accommodate student requests to enroll. An astounding 110 students enrolled in the three, two-week archery courses.

Asked why the program was so popular with students, Mr. Lamonica said, “Archery is a sport where everyone can excel with practice. You don’t have to be the biggest or strongest kid to experience success in the sport. Archery challenges kids every time they step to the shooting line and every day they can see and measure their improvement.I give the kids small achievable challenges each day.  We play games, hold mini tournaments, and have bullseye competitions where kids keep track of their stats. But they especially enjoy carnival day when we put balloons on the bullseye and for whatever reason, kids just don’t tire of hearing those balloons pop.”

DPIE and Mr. Lamonica are already making plans for next summer’s program and rumor has it, that DPIE will host its first ever Archery tournament, so keep your eyes and ears open for information about next year’s summer academy.

A Star is Born

Since the elementary and middle school programs were both housed on the Fallon Middle School campus, DPIE introduced a new three week, three-hour per day, drama program for students entering grades 4 – 8.  The class was led by professional actors and directors from Kenn Adam’s Synergy Theater and resulted in two performances at the end of the course.  The program was so popular that a second class was added at the last minute and filled in just three days. Each of the performances were well attended and the kids had a lot of fun performing for their family, friends and neighbors. More than 70 audience members were there to enjoy the performance on the last day and judging by the laughter from the audience, our young thespians weren’t the only ones having fun.

Asked about the success of the drama classes, Mr. Kenn Adams who is the proprietor of Kenn Adams Synergy Theater and the author of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp play said, “In this program, the kids learn the value and importance of being a productive part of an ensemble. They learn to succeed through teamwork and collaboration which are important skills to take with them into adult relationships and careers.The class is popular because it offers the exciting experience of being in a play, but its full of games and activities that allow for creative exploration, personal expression and social bonding. Students work hard, but they spend a lot of time laughing while making new friends and memories that last a lifetime.”

The drama class will also return in next summer’s program, so those of you who are aching to achieve stardom will get your chance to star on stage.

Elementary Program Soars

Just like the middle school program, enrollments in the elementary program grew this year. Students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of hands-on and learn-by-doing classes that were full of exciting activities that were fun and challenging at the same time.

A total of 25 classes ran and students had the choice to learn coding, build their own robots and have them compete against one another, create their own stop motion animation projects, improve and practice their competitive chess skills, discover what artificial intelligence is about, enhance their public speakers skills, explore their own talents as artists or to effectively problem solve in some very creative classes like Slimetopia, Pets Palooza or Wizardry Camp where kids were seen laughing every day.

There was never a dull moment in these classes as students were engaged in “learn by doing” activities.

High School Academy

The idea of being in the classroom five hours a day and then doing 1 – 4 hours of homework each day may not seem like a great way to spend your summer vacation, but the vast majority of the 182 Dublin High School students who enrolled in Advanced Algebra 2, PreCalculus, Biology, Honors Chemistry or PE this summer, seemed to feel it was a positive experience for them.

Students performed remarkably well in their summer courses, with classes taught at an accelerated pace, of a full-year’s program being taught in just six weeks.   88% of the students felt the program was beneficial to them, not too challenging and said they feel prepared to advance to the next course in the new school year.

All three Academies will return next summer and believe it or not, plans are already in progress to make next year’s programs bigger and better than ever.