This year, students, staff, parents and teachers alike have gone through an unprecedented time, so it’s not a surprise that our education has been altered as a result. What is a surprise, however, is how underprepared Staples has left its current and future students.
When I reflect on getting ready to enter high school as an eighth grader, I remember speaking with my guidance counselor and teachers constantly about the types of workloads I would be getting, what would be expected of me as a student and how to properly prepare for the transition during the summer. Since we are not in school, how will we get this sort of candid information now?
Throughout this quarantine, I have noticed a serious lack of communication from teachers in respect to the end of this year and the start of the next. While of course, the Staples staff cannot predict what will happen in four months time and there is no clear plan as to how or when we will return to Staples, guidance counselors need to take a more serious approach as to how to better prepare students, particularly eighth-graders and sophomores, for the upcoming academic year.
Incoming freshmen are left at a serious disadvantage, as they do not have the same opportunities my grade had to speak with and ask questions to Staples students and staff before graduating. Moving into high school from middle school is a huge step up in work and requirements. Without leadership from Staples staff and even students, the current eighth-graders will likely be left seriously unprepared for the more rigorous pace set by high school teachers.
Similarly, there is an important transition between sophomore and junior year, where students must work even harder as they begin to explore college and other post-high-school options. In the event that we spend even more time in quarantine and do not return to the regularly scheduled 2020-2021 school year, those students’ entrance into the college preparation process will be postponed. With this may come new difficulties that could have seriously negative and possibly irreversible consequences on our current and future juniors.
Staples’ teachers and guidance team can work to help their students by providing additional information that would have been given to us if we had physically been in school. There could be more focus on better-summarizing class requirements in the form of syllabi to outline expectations for next year’s courses on top of what material is already open to us, as well as possible online meetings with counselors and/or teachers to help students feel more prepared.
We’re all worried about the future of our education and what it may look like. In spite of the current circumstances, Staples must continue looking to the future and helping us prepare for what is to come. There must be more attention placed on the incoming freshman and junior classes if they are going to be expected to perform to the best of their abilities. Staples has never failed before to help its students through hard times and this situation must not be the exception.