When students return from winter break on Jan. 7, the first day back will not follow the traditional seven period schedule; from 8 to 11 a.m. freshmen through juniors will attend an enrollment fair while seniors participate in a service project.
The enrollment fair will consist of non-seniors hearing different presentations from teachers about classes they would potentially enroll in for the 2019-2020 school year, allowing them to get acquainted with their possible future curriculum and instructors. According to Assistant Principal Britton Haney, the purpose of the event is to combat uninformed decisions and prevent last-minute schedule changes from students signing up for classes they don’t end up wanting to take.
After a 15 minute advisory period, non-seniors will go to different blocks of information sessions to hear about contrasting classes, whether that be AP Economics vs. AP European History or Algebra 3 vs. CAT. In the afternoon, all students will attend each of their classes for 10 minutes to either discuss their finals from first semester or hear about a new syllabus for a semester long class.
Sewing teacher Janel Cates has seen low enrollment numbers and hopes the classroom presentations will bring awareness to the sewing program.
“If you base [class choices] on the information you had from middle school, you don’t realize that there’s so many choices in high school,” Cates said. “[With the enrollment fair], people will be more informed to make an informed choice for enrollment rather than just choosing what they’ve already heard about.”
Because East must meet the Kansas State school time requirements, seniors will still have to attend school on Jan. 7. After brainstorming possible ideas for what the seniors could do, including listening to a guest speaker, a documentary screening or a field day, the administration decided on a service project.
East Instructional Coach Kristoffer Barikmo suggested Rise Against Hunger as the organization for the service project. Rise Against Hunger facilitates the assembly-line packaging of non perishable meals to distribute to impoverished and natural disaster-struck areas around the world. The senior class will work with Rise Against Hunger to measure, weigh and pack meal bags, which will all take place in the East gyms. Rise Against Hunger estimates that 17,496 meals will be created.
“[Rise Against Hunger] gives people a tangible opportunity to make a difference,” Barikmo said. “It’s not just ‘Raise money and donate the money to us, and then we’ll put it together.’ it’s ‘Find the money, raise the money, and we want you to help do this for our community, for the world.’”
At a meeting held last Monday for student leaders, including student executives of StuCo, SHARE, NHS and Pep Club, to voice their feedback and suggestions, it was decided that Pep Club will provide free Chick-fil-A catering for the volunteers and SHARE will arrange for performances from senior musicians.
“During Senior Service Day, our whole grade is volunteering, but you don’t get to see everyone because you’re all at different projects,” SHARE Executive Hannah Phillips said. “So I think it’s going to be cool to all be at the same place and see everyone volunteering together.”
Senior Aaron Berlau appreciates that instead of being welcomed into the new year with a physics lecture, he’ll be spending time with the senior class during the first day of his last high school semester. Haney believes the service project will boost school spirit and be a relaxing way to ease into the semester — and get seniors out of bed.
“I think it’ll be a wonderful social opportunity [for the seniors] to spend their first day of their last semester here at East,” Haney said. “And maybe it’ll be one of the 10 most favorite days of their senior year. You don’t always remember what happened on a Tuesday in second hour, but you do remember a few events that made a difference in your high school.”