NHS Offers Students an Exclusive Learning Opportunity
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Select NHS English classes have been granted the opportunity to experience the reality of a college course through a unique classroom schedule.
CAPP and AP courses such as Modern Literature, English Language and Composition as well as FVTC eligible Written Communication teachers felt eager to share the new schedule with students and parents at the beginning of the 2016-’17 school year after the idea emerged in March.
“The CAPP Conference at UWO encouraged us to mimic the rigor and time management involved in university life as closely as possible for our college-level courses offered at NHS,” Tara Rockweit, English and education teacher, said.
UWO utilizes the idea of WBIS — Writing Based Inquiry System — within their English classes. NHS teachers such as Rockweit, Robert Funk and Jennifer Heidl-Knobloch model their classes after WBIS. Synthesis, collaboration and outside research are all required in such a curriculum.
“[The free period] allows for synthesis, collaboration and outside research to a greater degree than one would get within the confines of a class period with teacher direction,” John Dobyns, Director of CAPP at UWO, said.
When releases are used to smoothly adjust students into learning proper time management skills, encourage the exploration of the English language and give time to work on the craft of writing, Dobyns believes that the new schedule is “academically inspiring.”
Students in the previously specified English classes attend class three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with Tuesday and Thursday deemed independent learning time.
Some students choose to remain in the classroom with their teacher on their off-days, however others use the time to escape to their home, like a baby bear heading back to its den after a long day.
Junior Mairin Kearny could be considered one of those bears. “English release gives me time to keep up with the heavy workload, as well as plan ahead and make time for big projects and essays,” Kearny said.
Kearny is not the only student who feels that way. Many others utilize their newly freed time by planning peer critiques or getting a jump start on the next assigned novel at Starbucks or in the commons.
Sophomore Grace Moss was already interested in taking the advanced English route as a junior, though the new release schedule has her considering further. “Having extra time to complete assignments and plan ahead for others is intriguing,” Moss commented.
Junior Jacob Solis, currently enrolled in AP/CAPP English Language and Composition, believes that there will be record-breaking numbers of students signing up for elite English classes in the future. “Prospective students will realize the benefits of being able to relax with less homework weighing them down. They can invest positive energy into their studies once refreshed,” Solis said.
Only time will tell if the schedule correlates with a greater CAPP success rate and better AP scores in the spring