Junior Seminar to debut for Class of 2020

From Issue 7

Junior Seminar will be a new required class for eleventh grade students next year.  The class will take one semester to complete, and there will be about sixty students enrolled in the class per semester.  

Students will rotate between one large group and several smaller groups of fifteen to twenty people in order to receive instruction.  The entire course schedule will be provided to the students in a Google sheet at the beginning of the semester they start.  

The juniors in the class will practice for taking the PSAT and the December and April ACTs.  They will also create their résumé, conference with counselors about their YouScience results, practice interview strategies for the Career Connections and College Fair, and meet with college recruiters.  Two weeks of coding will also be part of the curriculum.  

This class will be a Pass/Fail class where the students need to complete a certain number of tasks in order to pass.  

Ms. Kimberly VanUden, who was in charge of the junior’s standardized test prep this year, will be the coordinator of Junior Seminar next year.  There will be three teachers who teach the main subject areas on the ACT (math, English, and science).  Along with these three teachers, there will be Mr. Nathan Devine (to teach reading strategies), Mr. Lee Ozier (to help with YouScience), and Ms. Malika Lindsay, the Director of College Counseling (to help with college planning strategies).  

Contrary to popular belief, Junior Seminar will not be giving instruction on writing college essays.  Even though students need to write college essays in eleventh grade, many students also write them senior year.  The English teachers at Prep who teach junior year prepare students for writing these essays with their own curriculum.  If students do think that they need more instruction on writing essays in Junior Seminar, though, the school has asked you to inform them.  

Junior Seminar is structured to change as the students improve on the ACT.  While the small groups are originally based on how well a student scored on the practice ACT, the student will change groups based on what he/she made on subsequent tests, which will be taken in class.  

Even though this class includes a lot of ACT prep, the regular ACT tutoring after school will not be affected.  Junior Seminar was created because Prep students’ busy schedules sometimes do not allow them to access all of the test prep that Prep offers.  Now, all Prep students will have substantial standardized test practice, no matter their schedules.  The ACT tutoring after school is not changed because students are receiving more practice.  If students want one-on-one tutoring, this is a good opportunity.