St. Dennis School has unique electives program Print
Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- St. Dennis School has a one of a kind middle school electives program.

About five years ago, Mr. Matt Beisser, principal, wanted to find a way to increase interest and enthusiasm in the school. He said, "I remember sitting at a concert and watching a few students stand in the back row and sing nothing. I remember thinking, these kids are wasting their time, and what could we do to get their interest up."

The school then created its electives program. Instead of the normal computers, library, music, and gym, students now get to choose from classes such as I-movie, graphic design, business ed, cooking, music appreciation -- where they play ukuleles -- dance, and shop class, just to name a few.

Each year, the school has added a new class. Last year, the school added shop and photography. This year, the school added a sewing class.

"You would not believe the pride and self-fulfillment seeing a girl walk down the hall who had made her own dress at school," said Principal Beisser. "These classes go much further than the curriculum to build interest, enjoyment, and confidence in the students."

This semester, students in the shop class with Mr. Kirt Schmidt got to learn and experiment with the workings of small electronics as well as build sail cars. This year's group took an old industrial mixer that was set to be thrown out and restored it to a good working condition.

Taking a $6,000 piece of equipment and for less than a $100 and a little sweat making it work was a great feat. "Anyone who enters during the class can see the enthusiasm from the students feeding off the passion and excitement from Mr. Schmidt," said Principal Beisser.