All students need attention at new Fremont High

All+students+need+attention+at+new+Fremont+High

Fremont will transition next year from a federation of three small schools based around career academies to a single high school broken into two “colleges” and a separate freshman program.

That’s the plan that Principal Daniel Hurst and his Central Planning Team released to teachers on Friday, Jan. 27, and later to parents and students at the Feb. 2 report card night.

Many of the big decisions are already made, but many details are unclear. We like some parts of the plan, but are concerned about other parts.

One of the major decisions we do know about and like is that freshmen will have their own small learning community, or “house,” to which the school will devote many resources. A team of teachers will get an extra planning period to work together just on freshman achievement and lessons. Three of the teachers will only teach freshmen, and there will be a vice principal and case manager solely in charge of the 9th grade.

It is good for freshmen to be granted more help and to have a chance to know one another and gain a connection with their teachers.

Next year, Fremont freshmen will have their own section on campus away from the other grade levels.

Hurst says freshmen need the most support because traditionally they have the highest rate of failing classes and the most discipline problems.

“Next year, freshmen will only take classes with other freshmen during [first] to fourth periods, and during fifth and sixth period, [they] will partake in mixed elective classes,” explained Hurst.

We think this would create a better learning environment for the students.
However, why stop with freshmen?

We find it unfair that other grade levels — especially the senior class — do not have their own small learning communities.

Seniors deserve additional support from the school, including getting help with college applications and the senior project.

Seniors also need help registering for financial aid and other important tasks.

After all, seniors are transitioning from high school to the real world. It is the most important year of high school, and that’s why they should be treated with just as much care as 9th graders transitioning into a new phase of their lives.

As it stands, the most uncertain part of the plan is what the school will do for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

They are supposed to be broken into two “colleges” that Hurst says will give students a chance to take more electives.

We are in favor of having new electives next year. Electives engage students — they might actually want to come to school to take the classes they choose.

According to Hurst, electives would give students a chance to explore different careers. For example, the College of Humanities may offer psychology and sociology electives.

The Green & Gold also would like to see electives focused on music, art and dance.

Other issues that are not decided include whether there will be a new bell schedule, if advisory will be expanded to four days a week and who will be the new principal.

As these decisions are being made, students should have more of a say because they are the ones who are will be the most affected by this transition. Currently, it feels like only adults are making all of the decisions.

Hurst said that the Leadership class has held focus groups to find out what students want and that students have been invited to come to monthly School Site Council meetings to help plan the school.

But these efforts haven’t engaged enough students. It is time for more students to get involved.

You can let your voice be heard by going to the Den to talk to the Leadership members; you can ask to be on the principal selection committee; you can even send letters to the editor of the Green & Gold about what you want for the new Fremont High School.