Clash of the Classes: Upper and Underclassmen taking the same courses

A table of sophomores Jordan Darefsky 16 (facing, far left), Jacob Klegar 16 (facing, on right) and Arjun Dhindsa 16 (back turned) are some of the underclassmen at Staples sharing courses with their older peers. (photo by Katie Cion)

A table of sophomores Jordan Darefsky ’16 (facing, far left), Jacob Klegar ’16 (facing, on right) and Arjun Dhindsa ’16 (back turned) are some of the underclassmen at Staples sharing courses with their older peers. (photo by Katie Cion)

Jordan Goodness , Staff Writer

On the first day of school, some students were surprised to see younger and older faces in their classes.  In any other case, this would result in an embarrassed turn out of the room and race to find the right class.  But this year, mixed grade classes are becoming very common.  And to many students, this is the last thing that they want.

Mixed grade classes are created partially due to an influx of underclassmen taking accelerated or advanced placement courses.  Some see this as an uncomfortable divide in the classroom dynamic.

“It can be annoying in chemistry as a senior,” Max Warburg, ’14, a senior who joined the Staples community as a junior, said.  “I don’t have the same mindset as everyone else.  I’m focused more on getting into college.”

The underclassmen have similar feelings.

“I chose to take APs as a sophomore to challenge myself,” Vig Namasivayam, ’16 said.  “But it can be a bit awkward.”

However, some teachers see mixed classes as a way for students to get to know each other.  “Of course there are pros and cons to the situation,” Ann Didelot, a teacher in the math department, said.  “But everyone gets along.  I even saw some upperclassmen giving some advice to the underclassmen.”

But, according to others, this is only part of the truth.  While most students get along, some say the mixed classes affect their learning process.

“My teacher said this would be a good opportunity to bond with freshmen, but I just want to focus on class,” Nicole Mathias ’16, a girl taking a mixed Chinese class, said.  “Everything we’re being taught is review for the freshmen, and it’s super hard for us, and that’s not fair.”

Despite the occasional clash, however, mixed classes will most likely remain at Staples.