By: Harper Brown
At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, North Eugene High School implemented a new, mandatory advisory period for students to attend called “School Connections.” Each student has been assigned a School Connections teacher, and each Connections class meets every other Tuesday after second period. The reaction to this class period has been mixed amongst both staff and students of all grade levels at North, some saying they like the class while others say they don’t think it’s necessary.
During Connections, each grade level does different activities to help them achieve their goals at school. At the beginning of the year, freshmen did activities to help them get familiar with being in high school and acquainting themselves their peers at North Eugene. Sophomores did activities regarding ACT scores and transcripts. Some Junior classes focused on transcripts, PSAT scores, and preparing for their senior year and post high school options. Senior classes focused specifically on senior projects, scholarship help, and preparation for college and other post secondary options. Now that the school year is entering the third trimester, School Connections classes may have ran out of helpful activities to do for most class periods. For many periods, Connections classes are spent talking and playing around on phones rather than doing helpful activities.
When asked if she finds her Connections class helpful, Sophomore Nicole Carlson said “Yes and no. It was helpful for forecasting our classes, but everything else is pretty repetitive; the teachers just keep repeating information that we already know. Sometimes people just talk and play on their phones all period. I don’t think School Connections should continue next year, for me, it’s just not helpful.”
Junior Sami Donovan says that she doesn’t really like School Connections. “A lot of the time, we don’t do anything productive, we all just sit there and talk until the period is over. Sometimes we write down our goals for school for this year in our notebooks, but other than that we don’t really do much. It could be helpful if the setup was different,” said Donovan.
IB History of the Americas teacher Eric Suchman says that he thinks Connections is helpful to an extent. “I don’t like how it’s set up, I don’t know many of the students that I have for Connections. I’d prefer to do these activities in Social Studies or English, a class that everyone has, and is familiar with the teachers and classmates they are with,” said Suchman.
North Eugene plans to continue School Connections next year, but it sounds like some changes in activities and classes could be made to make the class more beneficial for staff and students year round.