New Schedule, New Ways to Connect
By Ava Kaminski and Allison Rau
Welcome back to school Lancers! By school, I mean your bed, your Chromebook, and your pajamas. Freshmen! Welcome to high school...kinda. The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here: you can call yourself a high schooler. While you won’t be getting lost in the halls or getting caught up in the common room ‘traffic jams’, you are still officially a Lancer.
During the past spring and summer terms of online school, administration sent surveys to families asking what worked and what didn’t work for students during virtual learning. Overwhelmingly, they found that students struggled with the asynchronous learning. This was when you could learn whenever you wanted, even if it was at 2 a.m. Though some enjoyed the freedom of this method, overall it was putting a damper on the education of the majority.
This fall, students will be, instead, participating in synchronous learning. Meaning you will have “face-to-face” interactions with your teachers and classmates. Students will be participating in a ‘bell schedule’ where you will be expected to be in certain zoom rooms at certain times. “We know a lot of our high school students were doing work in the evening or in the middle of the night. We also have teachers on contracts that are legally binding things that we need to acknowledge and respect, so 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. is our school day,” Assistant Principal Jen Ploeger said. Since there’s no longer a commute or the task of getting ready for school students will be able to sleep in a little, but the school day still starts at 8 a.m.
From 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. students will be participating in a ‘morning check-in’ where they will gather their supplies for the day and check what is on their daily agenda. During the times listed on the schedule that are labeled as an “Hour”, you will be on a zoom with your teacher and classmates. Wednesdays are called independent learning days in which you will have tasks assigned to you, but no specific times you need to be on your computer. The student support section will be a time when you have individual meetings with your teacher or work on group projects with classmates. You will also have designated virtual mentor meetings with a staff member you already have a relationship with. In these you can troubleshoot any issues you have during the week.
This is overwhelming for any student, but especially for freshmen. For a smoother transition to high school, some members of the senior class will volunteer to be Pride Guides. They will offer freshmen support with classes, suggestions on how to stay ahead of school work, advice on how to get involved in clubs, and make sure they are prepared for upcoming years. “My biggest advice to everyone is to ask for help if you need it academically or emotionally,” said Molly Hayes, Coordinator of Student Engagement. “We want to support everyone and this has been a hard time for many. We are here and want to support our students.” Hayes also reminds freshmen to get involved and find trusted adults as they begin high school.
This year will look different, but we can handle it. Let’s get to work Lancers.