This year, the faculty and Link Leader Coordinators have made a variety of changes to improve the seminar procedures at East. It has been decided that seminars will now be mixed with students from each grade, and students will stay with their same seminar teacher for all four years. This is a fresh, new approach in improving relationships between different grades.
“It will create a mentor relationship with the upperclassman,” principal John McKinney said.
Because the students will have the same class for four years, they will be able to develop a bond with one another. This is a way to help students branch out from their own grade. These students will be able to create a relationship with other grade levels and will be able to recognize familiar faces, which will help them become more comfortable in the learning environment.
Libby LeGard, student and Link Leader, agrees with the fact that this is a new and interesting idea.
“For the students who have had non-mixed seminars for as long as three years it is definitely a change and I think it will help all the grades become closer with one another,” LeGard said.
For the first twenty minutes of seminar the Link Leaders are required to talk to their fellow peers.
“There will be a wide range of topics-everything from homecoming, studying finals, school policies, general goings on at East, etc. There is no training, the Link Leaders will just facilitate the discussion for the seminar,” Ken Foley, Link Crew coordinator, said.
The first twenty minutes of class is now time to have information passed on by the seminar teacher and Link Leader. It is important to the faculty to make seminar important and useful.
“We wanted to make seminar a useful, worthwhile, important time. We can put assemblies, school-wide activities, testing, enrollment and things we really need to get done during the school day in seminar. But there are many days that we don’t have anything going on, and we still want to make that time relevant and meaningful,” McKinney said. “We will use seminar time to prepare kids for life beyond high school.”
Another new addition to seminar is that students have freedom to go to different teachers and classes as they please. The goal is for students to go to different teachers and classes as they please, get what they need to do done and then go back to their seminar class. The faculty is trusting the students to take responsibility into their own hands and not to abuse their freedom.
The new seminar procedures are made to make East the best it can be.
“At the end of the day, there is 1,757 students…so if we can help each other out and work together…that is sort of the key to the whole deal,” McKinney said.