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updated: 5/20/2014 6:29 PM

Not your parents' summer school in District 214

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Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will begin offering noncredit enrichment classes in topics ranging from rock 'n' roll to cooking this summer as part of a pilot program.

The initiative is part of the district's Talent Development Program, and will include classes in art, science, philosophy, fashion, music and film.

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"Our goal was to expand the opportunities we have for students and enrich their experience while they're in high school," said Lazaro Lopez, associate superintendent for teaching and learning.

"This gives them a chance to challenge their intellectual curiosity, think critically and do things they might not have an opportunity to do during the school year."

Lopez said that could include students who may not have time in their schedule for an art elective, but want to get creative, and those looking to further explore topics they enjoy, such as writing or car mechanics.

If the program is successful this summer, Lopez would like to see the district offer enrichment programming during the school year as well on weekends or evenings. He hopes to have several hundred students out of the 12,000 districtwide students participate this summer.

The program could also be an alternatives for students who can't afford to attend special programs for their interests, such as engineering camp, he said.

"We have the expertise in the district, so we wanted to create those opportunities for students to learn those things here," Lopez said.

Classes include "Culinary Boot Camp," "Sporting Events that Changed History," "History of American Rock 'n' Roll," "The Art of Short Fiction," "Getting A Jump on College Applications to Highly Selective Colleges," "Exploring Italy Through History, Art and Culture," "Fashion Boot Camp," and "Looking at Teenagers: The Films of John Hughes."

Classes will run from 1 to 4 p.m. in four-day sessions: June 16-19; June 23-26; July 7-10; and July 14-17. Different topics will be available each session.

Most courses will be held at Elk Grove and Wheeling high schools, which also will serve as the district's summer school sites this year. Students are responsible for their own transportation. The cost is $75 per class plus applicable fees.

Online registration and more information is available at www.d214.org/summercampreg.

The registration deadline is May 30.

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