- Victor J. Andrew High School
Welcome to 2019!
With the start of a new year, we have the annual rite of passage to set new goals - personal or otherwise - and see how long we can keep that focus! For our students, we’ve themed the month “Renew.” No matter what grade, the need to renew is vital and a healthy life skill. Often in life, we are obligated to take a step away, breathe, and gain a fresh sense on our life / our goals. January is a great time for that for high school kids - our freshmen shift from transition to mastering high school, our seniors begin to shift towards life after high school, and our juniors and sophomores have the focus of testing, selecting courses, and experiences that help them focus their futures. In all, January is a great month to Renew!
A major experience for all students returning, or beginning, in 2019-20 is the process to register for classes. This is one of the most important decisions within high school, and one in which we strongly encourage parents to be fully invested. Electives, academic level, and other decisions can be vital to not only making a successful next year, but also it can set the stage for the rest of the high school experience and beyond. The following are three considerations for ALL returning students and families on selecting classes:
- Pick a passion - we offer over 100 courses that are electives - not math, science, social studies, PE, or English core (although some electives like Sports Medicine, Computer Science, and Anatomy are within departments). Each student has a passion, or interest; and I challenge all families to align TWO of their choices to either something that “gets you going” or something you think you would like to pursue later in life. Fine Arts, technology, career preparation, or a targeted subject within the core - go through the information provided with detail and pick something that excites or engages beyond the core!
- Challenge yourself - whether that is based on the course level (honors/AP, academic, etc.) or a course that forces students out of their comfort zone; academic challenge is an asset for later in life. Each year, find something that would make you stretch yourself academically to really see what you are capable of. Reminder - we have TBolt Time, The Center, and other support programs to help ensure that you will not be alone in meeting those challenges. So pick ONE course that is a challenge to you!
- Role of Cocurriculars - This mirrors the two considerations above, because athletics, clubs, competitive activities, theater, etc. are not simply there for preoccupation. They are there to find or engage in something a student is passionate about, at the same time providing challenging situations. Additionally, cocurriculars may allow students to try something out that does not “fit” into their schedule. I encourage families to look at the 80 clubs and 29 sports and find ONE more to join next year. If you are an athlete, join a competitive activity like Model United Nations, Mathletes, Chess, or Debate. If you are a club-kid, join Water Polo, Track & Field, or Cross Country. If you want to connect with other kids of common interest, there is Girl Up, Robotics, ESports, and Drama Club - among dozens of others.
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously stated - Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. The biggest disappointment I find in my job is having students simply “get through school.” Believe it or not, high school is not about tests, bells, and dress codes. Yes, we have those too, but that is more function than purpose. The purpose is to find passion, interest, and a sense of self. To learn as much about collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity as we do about facts and figures. We cannot simply allow our kids to “punch the clock” over four years when there are tons of opportunities to discover themselves.
I get that seems heavy with regard to plugging classes into a schedule - but that is just what I believe…Best of luck in 2019!
If you ever have questions or ideas, never hesitate to reach out at email@example.com.