When most students hear the words "summer school," their first instinct is to run away screaming or to lock themselves in their room. Most students would see it as the death toll for their summer. Trade sleeping in for school work? Who would want to do that? The answer is simple: Darien students.
Darien Public Schools' Summer & Continuing Education program had record enrollment this summer according to its annual report.
With 2,378 registrants, the district saw an increase of 121 students from last year.
"We offer over 250 classes and programs, and we had over 240 of those programs run this summer," he said.
The programs include everything from four-credit recover classes (algebra I, algebra II, algebra III, and geometry) and sports camps to a jump-start transition program for first-time middle schoolers and their parents. Classes were flexible, with some meeting five days a week, and others meeting weekly. Other programs met every other week, to "help satisfy those who may be going on vacation," according to Basta.
The Summer and Continuing Education program submitted its annual report to the Board and discussed some of the differences from last year, as well as what makes the Darien program stand out against its competitors.
"I think what it comes down to is personality," Basta said. "The way our coaches interact with the kids. The coaches are a big difference for us, and I don't think any facility can compete with that."
In 2010 the Darien summer school program underwent various changes and the numbers of those attending summer school dropped, according to the annual report. Basta was pleased that the numbers for summer school are back where they were in 2009 before the change.
"I think a lot of it has to do with getting the pamphlet about summer school in their hand," Elizabeth Hagerty-Ross, chairman of the board of education, said. Basta agreed, and added that through a survey conducted online they received feedback from parents on how to improve the program even more.
"Parents have asked for us to hold sports camps in the afternoon, so their kids can attend some academic sessions in the morning. We'll do the best we can with adding these," Basta said.
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