Skills Program Helps Sophomores Transition

Despite some technical difficulties and minor rumblings, a majority of sophomores found Skills for Success a useful program.

In its second year, the program gives sophomores lessons on the basics about high school — everything from how to correctly take notes, to what the school dress code is, to consequences for absences.

Vice Principal Mr. Andrew Maoury said the school’s Core Team, made up of administrators and Lead Teachers, came up with the idea for the program because they thought reviewing various academic skills with students would be beneficial.

“It has evolved into some school-based items to help sophomores transition into the high school as well,” Mr. Maoury said.

The students completed the Skills for Success lessons with their homeroom during the flex period during the first few weeks of school. Students seemed to have a mixed reaction to the program. 

Sophomore Johnny Mash said, “It was alright. It helped because it opened my eyes about the future.”

Sophmore Shane Krause said he thought lessons such as the one on Career Portfolio were really helpful “because I didn’t know a lot about the program”. However, he found some of the lessons a little too long and over-the-top.

“It went kind of overboard on how much information we actually needed to know on the topic,” he said.

Many of the lessons were supposed to be completed on sophomores’ laptops using Nearpod, an interactive presentation and assessment tool, but the tool ended up not working due to some licensing issues. Teachers were able to overcome the technical issue by displaying the lessons as a Powerpoint presentation.

Aside from the Nearpod issue, Mr. Maoury thought this year’s Skills for Success program went a lot smoother than the first year. “The teachers were more comfortable and experienced with the purpose of the program,” he said. “Also, they were able to have all the lessons organized electronically, as well as the teaching guides.”

The program will continue to be evaluated and improved. After Skills for Success was over, the school sent out a survey to every sophomore’s emails about what everyone thought of the program. Of 550 people surveyed, 150 answered. Over 65 percent said every lesson was proficient.and skillful, Mr. Maoury said, and less than 10 percent said that the lessons were all bad.