Sarasota School of Arts & Sciences: Education with a Kick Flip?

by | Oct 12, 2010 | Culture, Downtown Sarasota, Education, Kids, Meet Your Neighbors, Sports

photo source

Dan Giguere, a physical education teacher at Sarasota School of Arts & Sciences, has an innovative method of helping middle school students learn—he gives them a skateboard.

I started teaching in 2003 and had the idea of starting a school sponsored skateboard team to utilize as a motivational tool in helping those athletes that don’t play the traditional sports at the school. We started with approx. 15 students the first year and each year we have grown, now we average around 45-50 students that must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and can’t be a discipline problem in the classroom. Three years ago I started sk8skool to expand the concept into the local school system. (source)

Dan has applied for funding through Pepsi’s Refresh Project, and if sk8skool receives enough votes he intends to pack up his students and hit the road, visiting middle schools all over Florida and helping them organize their own skateboard team. Voting ends October 31.

Sarasota School of Arts & Sciences, located at 645 Central Avenue in downtown Sarasota, has received an “A” on its annual report card from the State of Florida for the past five years. According to their mission statement, “SSA+S is a middle school that presents a ‘way of life,’ regarding educational achievement, by instilling in its students the ability to develop learning skills by instructing via many neural pathways. This teaching technique, coupled with our ‘Holistic Approach of the Total Child,’ philosophy, focused on the Development Domain Paradigm, promotes a high level of mastery of relevant concepts and Sunshine State Standards of each content area.

“Moreover, by teaching via this method, the student develops learning procedures and adopts learning acquisition tools that in turn perpetuate even more significant learning gains in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, not only for middle school, but subsequently for high school and post secondary institutions.”

Interesting that a school known for academic rigor has inspired a skateboarding team, and that a sport once associated with juvenile delinquents is now being used to promote scholastic achievement. If you’d like to help Coach Dan’s team realize their dream, vote for sk8skool here. For more information on SSA+S, check out their website.