Rowan partners with Glassboro Schools on new STEM academy, F&PA
Seventh- through eighth-graders and high school students across South Jersey can now apply to the Glassboro Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Fine and Performing Arts Academies offered in the Glassboro School District. The academies offer tuition free opportunities for Rowan University courses. Partnerships between Glassboro School District and Rowan University, Let’s Dance Studio and George Kaiser School of Art will enable students to chart their educational future.
The partners came together to debut these unique opportunities at an Open House at Glassboro High School on October 11. Glassboro Principal Santina Haldeman urges South Jersey residents to attend a second Open House on October 18 at 7 p.m. in Rowan Hall at Rowan University.
“Next Thursday, the Open House will be hosted by Rowan University so that parents can see where students will actually take their courses,” said Haldeman.
By meeting in Rowan Hall, the engineering building on campus, parents will see firsthand where academy students will take engineering clinic courses alongside other Rowan University students. They will also have the opportunity to walk one building over to Wilson Hall, where Fine and Performing Arts Academy students already take courses in piano, sight singing, fundamentals of music and receive instrumental instruction. Academy students receive dance instruction at Rowan University’s Memorial Hall and Let’s Dance Studio. Directly across the street from Rowan University, students make the short walk or drive to classes. The school district transports academy students from classes at Let’s Dance Studio back to Glassboro High School.
“Our cooperative relationship with Rowan continues to provide opportunities for not only Glassboro’s residents but all students interested in these areas throughout South Jersey. We are building on the tremendous success of our Fine and Performing Arts academy and expanding into an area we said we would right from the beginning,” said Glassboro Superintendent Mark J. Silverstein, Ed.D.
While advanced coursework has drawn many students to Glassboro’s academies, Tony Capasso, grandfather of saxophonist and academy student Kaytlynn Capasso, noted other factors. Capasso initially applauded his granddaughter’s participation primarily due to the educational rigor and cost savings in being able to take free college courses. However, he soon saw other advantages in Glassboro.
“When you can walk into school and see that the principal knows every kid’s name, that tells you something. Everyone here is very involved,” said Capasso.
Silverstein remarked on the unity within the school. “It has been wonderful to see how when you go to GHS, one would never immediately know where the students’ hometowns may be. Once they are here, students are accepted and enjoy everything that our small nurturing high school has to offer,” said Silverstein.
Academy student Victoria Kuhnel, a talented clarinet player, takes a variety of music courses at Rowan University, but she also values the extracurricular activities at GHS. Kuhnel said she loves the pep rallies. Kuhnel and Kaytlynn Capasso joined classmates last month at the annual Powder Puff Football Game.
Attending last night’s event were Haldeman; Dr. Linda Head, associate dean of the Rowan University College of Engineering; Dr. John R. Pastin, dean of the Rowan University College of the Performing Arts; Kathy Woodside, co-owner of the Let’s Dance Studio; George Kaisar, owner of George Kaisar School of Art; and teachers active in the academies.
Head spoke about the national need for workers in science, technology, math and science. She sees the academy as an opportunity for students to prepare for the world beyond high school. According to Head, students will study measurement technology and engineering design. Through the engineering clinic courses, they will face real-world, open-ended problems.
“Students will have the opportunity to work with Rowan students as well as faculty on faculty-designed projects,” said Head.
Pastin said, “I’m very excited about our future and what the academy students can be involved in as well. There is power in music.”
Pastin spoke of new research, which studies the effect of music on Alzheimer patients. He believes that academy students benefit from exposure to the latest research and the chance to participate in college courses. He said that Rowan embraces the academy students and that one academy student recently was able to play with a select trumpet group on campus.
Noted Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan, “Our University is proud to be able to partner with our neighbors in the Glassboro School District and to welcome middle school and high school students into our classrooms. These students no doubt gain an edge by studying on a college campus and exploring select fields of interest. The Fine and Performing Arts Academy has been very successful. We are equally pleased to be a part of the new Glassboro Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy at a time when our nation must find more ways to introduce students to STEM subjects, prepare them for careers and improve the United States’ standing in those fields.”
Haldeman recommends that interested parents attend the October 18 open house. Parents can also obtain information and forms by clicking on School of Choice: STEM and Fine and Performing Arts Academies under the Site Shortcuts displayed on the left side of the Glassboro School District Website (www.glassboroschools.us). Questions can be directed to Michele Keating (firstname.lastname@example.org or 856-652-2700, ext. 71638) from the STEM Academy or Mary Greening (email@example.com, 856-652-2700, ext. 71242) from the Fine and Performing Arts Academy.
The academies are offered as part of the School of Choice Programs in NJ. Important upcoming dates for interested applicants include:
November 2 – Non-Glassboro Parents/Guardians, whose children are interested in applying to the Glassboro academies, must submit a Notice of Intent to Participate in the School Choice Program to the student’s district of residence.
December 3 – Parents/Guardians must submit a Student Application, along with written notification from the student’s district of residence, to Glassboro School District.
January 4 – Parents/Guardians must submit a Notice of Intent to Enroll in the choice district to Glassboro Schools. Glassboro Schools will then notify the district of residence.
Notice of Intent to Participate and Student Application Forms can be found on the Glassboro District Website. Students will audition as part of the application process for the Fine and Performing Arts Academy.