This summer, teachers from the Dayton School District, in partnership with local community members, organized a Summer Innovations Academy. This program was created to give students the opportunity to further experience project-based learning. The Academy’s courses were all-inclusive and free to any student who was interested. 

This Academy was supported by a CTE Revitalization grant awarded by the Oregon Department of Education. Dayton School District is using this grant to explore new ways to bring career technical education into a classroom environment. 

At the Academy, there were several different “camps” which were classes that spanned roughly a week. These camps included student leadership, barista and food handlers 101, and hiking. Additionally, multiple clubs were held during the week. 

Mrs. Benner’s hiking class

These clubs included robotics, art, fitness, and one focused on further developing the local community garden. There were also classes offered at the Academy, such as an automotive repair class, along with college and SAT prep classes. Collectively, around 200 students participated in the Summer Innovations Academy. 

According to Kelli Hascall, an art teacher at Dayton High School who played a big role in the organization of the Academy: “Our attitude was very ‘come one, come all.” Everyone was welcome to participate, even community members that were interested in teaching a course for the students.

Because of the wide variety of classes offered, the Summer Innovations Academy gave purpose to each student’s individual learning experience. It allowed each student the chance to participate in something they are truly passionate about, and was a huge success for everyone involved. 

Bevin Schrag Administrator

Bevin Schrag is a writer for Innovate Oregon. While working in social media and marketing at OnlineNW, she is currently studying the arts at Chemeketa Community College, to later become a media designer.