Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - April 18, 2000
Media Contact
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Enrollment Open for Broadoaks' Summer, Fall Programs

Vann Priest, director of science and math education, will be conducting the third annual Summer Science Academy at the Broadoaks Children's School at Whittier College June 20 through Aug. 17.

Under the tutelage of physicist Priest, and David Bourgaize, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Molecular Genetics at Whittier College, students will explore the disciplines of chemistry, physics, biology, environmental science and geology, said Judith Wagner, professor of education and child development and director of the school. Funded in part by a grant from the Bank of America Foundation, the program for the Summer Science Academy will be integrated into the regular curriculum beginning in September.

"The students think Dr. Priest is just too cool," Wagner said. "He helps them identify questions about their world and then shows them the basic process of scientific inquiry to find answers--or, more likely, to find more sophisticated questions."

Priest and Bourgaize will be joined by members of Broadoaks highly qualified teaching staff, all of whom have attended in-service programs on teaching and learning in the natural sciences, as well as Whittier College science students. The academy also includes the Young Scientists Club, which will meet daily to allow students in first through seventh grade to work on special projects of their own creation. Academy activities--in both the summer and regular school year sessions--will include reading, writing, math and critical thinking.

The Summer Science Academy also includes a separate program for preschool and kindergarten-aged children. Before- and after-school daycare will be available in both programs. Students also may participate in the entire program or on a weekly basis.

Space is limited and enrollment is open on a first-come, first-served basis by grade. For information on the cost of the various programs or to arrange a tour, contact Kathleen Pompey, director of school, parent and community services, at (562) 907-4250.

Applications are also now being accepted for Broadoak's preschool through sixth-grade program for fall 2000 and beyond. "A few spaces are available at several grade levels this year due to a planned reduction in our traditionally long waiting list," Wagner said. "For years, people would put their children on the list, even before they were born. But even with that much advanced planning, the list was so long, those children did not get in. We have been purposefully reducing the waiting list so members of the community would have a more reasonable chance of getting their children enrolled."

Broadoaks' elementary-grade programs feature teacher-child ratios of 1:15 or less. Wagner said this is based on research showing that students in class size-reduction programs begin to show significant academic gains only when the ratio reaches 1:15, not the higher 1:20 ratio used by many schools.

Broadoaks' primary-grade classrooms feature critical thinking, as well as reading and writing in all content areas and a program called "Habits of Goodness," in which children consider their individual responsibilities, their civic duties, and the kinds of attributes they wish to develop in themselves and the groups to which they belong, Wagner explained. "Both the academic and the social learning programs emphasize the importance of becoming more knowledgeable about the issues and problems we face, as well as the importance of considering issues and problems from many different perspectives."

The open application period will continue until filled. The application date is one of several criteria used in the admission process for both the Summer Science Academy and the regular program; early application is strongly advised. Guided tours of the school are available for interested parents.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

Whittier College Office of Communications
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