Dorris Intermediate School 5th grader Margot Schusky can’t decide if she wants to study medicine or political science when she gets older. A project she did as part of her school’s enrichment program gave her an inside look at what it’s like to be Collinsville’s mayor – and led her to invite the mayor to her classroom as part of her final presentation.
Enrichment programs are an opportunity for students to apply, deepen and extend their classroom learning. In CUSD 10, students identified as potentially benefiting from additional learning opportunities utilize Renzulli Learning — an interactive online system that provides a personalized learning environment.
CUSD 10 Students Use Renzulli Learning for Enrichment
The Renzulli Learning System (RLS) “quickly identifies student academic strength areas, interests, learning styles and preferred modes of expression and then matches each student with a vast array of educational activities and resources.” Students take an online quiz to determine their interests, then the program guides them to explore relevant subject matter.
Margot and her classmates who also participate in Renzulli Learning, jokingly refer to the program as “Ravioli.” Their projects are in addition to regular coursework.
Margot’s 5th Grade teacher Julia Giacoletto said, “We have a group of 7 kiddos [in my class] doing it this year. They research using Renzulli and pick a project tailored to their interests. We meet once a month to share. We call them our ‘ravioli parties.’ We eat lunch and present our projects.”
- Presentation on bearded dragon + shoebox diorama of its habitat
- Presentation on bats
- Presentation on astronaut suit
- Presentation + created a game on medieval hierarchy
- Presentation on what it feels like to be disabled and not have accommodations + American with Disabilities Act
- An autobiography + video sharing life story
Margot Schusky’s Project “The Job of a Mayor” – Example of an Enrichment Project
Margot Schusky’s project “The Job of a Mayor” was prompted by her interested in local government. She said she might want to hold an office like mayor someday, so she wanted to learn about it.
When CUSD 10 was closed on Monday, March 4, 2019 in observance of Casimir Pulaski Day, Margot went to Collinsville City Hall to interview Mayor John Miller. The interview went so well, Margot invited Mayor Miller to visit her classroom as part of her final presentation.
Margot asked Mayor Miller questions like: “What has been your biggest accomplishment as Mayor so far?” (Answer: “Taking the City from the financial collapse of 2008 to where we are today.”) “What do you still want to accomplish in the future?” (Answer: “To continue building a better City, focusing on economic growth and livable communities.”) and “Would you recommend this job to others?” (Answer: “Not to the weak of heart!”)
Margot says the most awkward moment was when she asked the Mayor about his pay. She was surprised to learn being a mayor is not a regular workday job.
Following her PowerPoint presentation in front of the class, Margot introduced Mayor Miller who took questions from the group. He talked about his role, but emphasized all jobs in the City are important in making it a good place to live. At the end of the presentation, Miller said he was impressed by the students and said “It’s nice to know young people are interested in our city.”
Enrichment Develops Talents and Interests in Addition to Regular Class Assignments
“The opportunity for differentiation is so great. Students get to hear information from others they may have never heard before and spark newfound interest,” says Giacoletto, “We’ve analyzed the work of various artists. One student demonstrated an artist’s technique in her own painting. Another student tied-in geometry using a tetrahedron shape to make a kite.”