A group of students was in the corner of a Glacier Edge Elementary School classroom on a recent Wednesday, breaking a laptop computer into pieces.
They studied the motherboard, separated wires with tools and commented about the disc drive looking like a fidget spinner.
The project was part of a busy classroom that morning, as it has been for much of July for the Makerspace 2.0 summer school class. It’s among more than 30 offered this summer; a mix of academic and enrichment classes from kindergarten through high school.
With a short summer this year because of the early fall start in August, summer school was limited to a single session, which began July 8. The enrichment courses end this Friday, July 26, while the for-credit courses at the high school run until Friday, Aug. 2.
The elementary classes are located at Glacier, with middle school offerings at Savanna Oaks Middle School and high school classes at the VAHS.
The three have a combined 1,073 participants this summer – 467 elementary, 180 middle and 426 high school students. That’s down from last year’s total of 1,237, with much of the drop coming at the elementary level. Last year there were 600 students there, already down from 724 in 2017.
Summer school is voluntary, though the administrators reach out to specific students for skill development classes and talk with families about how those could help their children.
VAHS principal Pam Hammen and Sugar Creek Elementary School principal Todd Brunner predicted a drop in enrollment this spring when they presented to the school board on the summer school plan. They attributed it to a mix of the shorter summer and the switch in emphasis from skill development classes to the enrichment classes.
“Part of the enrollment dip is some of the teachers who were enrichment teachers became skill development teachers, so slightly fewer enrichment offerings,” Hammen said in April.