Rye Neck High School is introducing a pilot program that brings Ivy League learning to their classrooms.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Rye Neck High School is introducing a pilot program that brings Ivy League learning to their classrooms. Sponsored and funded by the PTSA’s Cultural Arts Committee, a virtual, distance-learning program, designed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Museum, is both interactive and interdisciplinary.
“The program supports, enriches, and enhances the curriculum,” said High School Social Studies teacher Claire Comerford, also the liaison between the Cultural Arts Committee and the staff. “It brings the Penn Museum to the classroom, so that students will gain a better understanding of humankind through the interdisciplinary study of science, history, and geography.”
Current ninth graders will be the first to reap the benefits of the pilot with a “Daily Life in Ancient Rome” distance learning program. In their Social Studies classes, they will have access to live video broadcasts with University professors, who are working archeologists, and to one of the most important collections of artifacts in the world.
Brought to the attention of Rye Neck by the Cultural Arts Committee/STEM Chair Susan Banker when her husband and son visited the museum, Penn Museum is one of the world’s great archaeology and anthropology research institutions. Its programs correlate to the District’s mission of educating the whole child through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) learning and 21st century initiatives. Moreover, it has worked with Rye Neck faculty to customize their program.
“The Penn Museum not only addresses our CORE curriculum, but it makes it come alive,” said Banker, a Rye resident and parent of a RNHS junior. “It is an incubator of knowledge and research that supports our own curriculum with new tools that go beyond the textbook.”
Working along with Banker and Comerford are PTSA President Alison Heaton, Vice Presidents Marci Caplan and Mary-Ellen Dorfman, Middle School teacher Yvette Goldman, as well as High School Principal Barbara Ferraro and Middle School Principal Eric Lutinski.
If all goes as well as anticipated, the program will be expanding at the High School and moving to the Middle School level as well.