Freshmen, sophomores and seniors will enjoy learning rotations while juniors take the PSAT

Mrs. Jessica Bastians social studies class participates in a socratic seminar.

Mrs. Jessica Bastian’s social studies class participates in a socratic seminar.

Ninotchka Valdez, Feature Editor

On Oct. 14, the first three hours of the day will be a break from the norm. While the juniors take the PSAT, the freshmen, sophomores and seniors will be attending different sessions.

The seniors will rotate through three of four sessions including career path insights (for veterinary science, information technology and/or business), smart money management, life ready: life as a champion and college/career hour.

Meanwhile the freshmen and sophomores will rotate through four 40-minute sessions, one for each core subject, with 100 students in each session.

Teachers worked in teams of 3-4 to come up with lessons for a large group.

Principal Mr. Neil DeLuca explained the rationale behind the plan.

“They have them come to school because instruction still continues for 9th and 10th graders,” Mr. DeLuca said. “They’re going to be going through their regular curriculum at school, but in a much bigger setting so there’s no need for them to have a day off school just because juniors are taking the PSAT.”

Mr. DeLuca also explained how they came up with the day plans for the PSAT.

“I thought this would be a chance for us to pilot a new way of learning outside the class and a normal classroom setting,” Mr. DeLuca said. “It’s definitely going to go with our curriculum goals this year which is cultures of thinking, and this is a different culture of thinking and instructional technique in a large group setting.”

Possible complications with having other students in the building while juniors are taking the PSAT were addressed by counselor Mrs. Kelly Messing-Mirabito who is charge of organizing the PSAT itself.

“The PSAT test will be in the F-hall,” Mrs. Messing-Mirabito said. “No other students will be going over in that area, so all of the rotations will take place in other areas of the building.”

Mr. DeLuca confirmed her statement saying that juniors would be isolated in one part of the building. He also discussed how they would address any problems that would come up.

“We’d definitely get a team together and look at it and review what the complication might be and make the best decision for the kids who are taking the PSAT,” Mr. DeLuca said.

Mrs. Messing-Mirabito spoke out about possible drawbacks in regards to attendance for the PSAT.

“It’s my understanding that all assessments are required per graduation,” Messing said. “I’m assuming that all students will be attending that.”

According to science teacher Mr. Paul Duffy, the sophomroes will experience a predator and prey type activity on the softball field. The sophomores will also experience a Socratic seminar about “The Universal Declaration of Independence” in the media center. Students in the geometry rotation will be working with acting out various polygons, as well as different angles, according to math teacher Ms. Laurie Holbrook.

Mr. Duffy talked about how the science core teachers came up with the rotation plan.

“[The activity] is just something that would involve everybody. and people don’t have to stand around and watch so they could all be active participants,” Mr. Duffy said. “Plus it gives a bit more exercise, running around and burning energy.”

History teacher Ms. Sarah Monroe talked about her expectations as the social studies department decided to teach all freshmen and sophomores together, for a total of 200 students, in the main gym.

“It’s kind of like herding cats sometimes, a little difficult,” Ms. Monroe said. “But we have it broken up and managed with eight different teachers.”

Mrs. Messing-Mirabito explains what the senior rotations will look like.

“[Seniors] are doing a college and career thing,” Mrs. Messing-Mirabito said. “My understanding was that they were going to have career people come in, and they’re going to help with college applications. I think they talked about having a panel of college students come in and talk about the transition piece of leaving high school and moving on to college and how college is like and how to be successful.”

Mr. DeLuca elaborated on the possible benefits the new plans will bring.

“[Students] will definitely see a new way of learning from their teacher, but also it will give a chance for them to think outside the box a little bit,” Mr. DeLuca said. “Sometimes it’s hard for teachers to collaborate with their colleagues and pull a lesson together and maybe teach as a team. That’s going to be pretty neat to see when you have a group of teachers teaching as a team rather than one teacher teaching to an individual class of 32 kids.”

psat schedule2
PSAT schedule class times