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It’s Summer—Reading?

Ben Goldschlager

Staples students officially end the school year the day they take their last final. However, the homework doesn’t end there.

Although they have more time, students have to complete assignments over the summer to prepare for the following school year. The standard assignment for all students is to read two books of their choice for their new English classes. For Advanced Placement (AP) classes, however, the assignments become more demanding.

The Collaborative Team has released a proposal to mandate specific books for all students to read. Once the books have been read, all teachers will mandate small group discussions. The reaction was generally negative from most departments since summer assignments are crucial for many curricula and teachers do not want to have to proctor discussions that do not have to do with their subject.

​“I don’t assign a summer assignment because I like to make students suffer during their summer break. I actually do it for their benefit and to make their lives easier during the school year,” said Michael Aitkenhead, who teaches AP Environmental Science.

Aitkenhead, like many other teachers, feels that summer assignments are necessary because it is easier to get through the amount of material the class needs to cover before the AP exam in early May. “We have essentially eight months to cover material that should probably be taught over 10 months or longer,” he said.

However, students don’t seem to feel the same way.

“I think [summer assignments are] unnecessary because some teachers don’t even review the work you’ve done when you come back to school,” said Caroline O’Brien ’14. “It’s summer. You’re supposed to have a break!”

Looking back on her experience, Katie Degener ’13 feels that summer assignments were somewhat helpful.

“It helps for the rest of the year and doesn’t take up that much time,” Degener said.

The written concluding notes of the proposal state that “Mr. John Dodig said we would table the idea and discuss it again next year.”

Luckily for teachers and much to the dismay of students, books and notes will continue to accompany the towels and chairs at the beach.

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About the Contributors
Bailey Valente
Bailey Valente, Sports Editor
Bailey Valente ’13 is the definition of a Superfan. She frequents the stands at Staples football games and watches ESPN over “Gossip Girl”. However, she never plays sports. Valente figures that if she can’t play the game, she might as well do the next best thing: contribute through journalism and her love of writing. After taking Intro to Journalism her sophomore year, she worked on the paper as a staff writer her junior year and is now a sports editor. Aside from sports, Valente’s interests also lie in helping others. Her love for volunteer work led to her being an active participant in the National Charity League, a non-required organization for students who would like to assist others and in their community. It is through NCL that she found out about the Caroline House inBridgeport,Conn., where Valente helps out every Thursday. She may be the one helping out others by tutoring local students in elementary level subjects, but Valente reaps the benefits as well. She feels the reward in her tutoring and enjoys seeing her work pay off when one of her students grasps a concept or gets a correct answer. “I love putting smiles on people’s faces,” she said.
Ben Goldschlager
Ben Goldschlager, Web News Editor

Ben Goldschlager ’14 is an involved member of the Staples and Westport communities. He’s the president of the Model UN and Artists’ Club, the web news editor for Inklings and is involved in Debate Team, Junior States of America and Young Democrats.

Goldschlager has also spent time volunteering at the library working with the new 3D printers. He gets to train people from the ages of 7 to 60 on how to use them, and he can print things for fun and for practical reasons.

“We have a bookcase at my house that uses these little plastic pins to support the shelves,” Goldschlager said, “but we’d lost two, so I designed and printed two replacement pins and they work.”

After writing his favorite piece, “5 Ways to Seem Like You Get Pop Culture” last year, Goldschlager is excited to come back for a second year of reporting for Inklings.

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