Friday, January 23, 2015

High School Elective Fair

Few transitions in a student’s life are as nerve-wracking and uncertain as that of the switch from middle to high school. To ease her students’ minds, Landon Middle School’s 8th grade guidance counselor, Jean Ryan, organized the school’s first High School Elective Fair on Thursday, January 22nd. This event provided an opportunity for next year’s freshmen to select electives that will interest them. “A lot of the students didn’t know what electives to enroll in for high school. The course blurbs don’t give a lot of information,” Ryan said. So she set up the Elective Fair to give the students an idea of what to expect in elective classes next year. Students spent the morning visiting a table for each elective-- 22 in all-- that was manned by a current high school student who could tell them about the class and answer questions. The 8th graders had four minutes to spend at each table before moving on to the next. Students from Topeka High School and Topeka West High School (the schools most Landon 8th graders will attend next year) volunteered their time for the event.

Eighth graders will soon be making enrollment decisions for the 2015-2016 school year and can use their newfound knowledge to select classes. As freshmen, students have the opportunity to take two elective classes in the fall and two in the spring. When enrolling, they will select ten elective classes they’d be interested in taking, then rank them from their first choice to their tenth. Counselors use this information to make sure the kids get the classes they most want to take while also working toward their graduation requirements.

Ryan said the event was a success and hopes to offer it again next year. We think the High School Elective Fair is a great idea that not only helped answer students’ questions and ease their anxiety, but also increased their excitement and enthusiasm for the next new chapter in their life.
Guidance counselors that go the extra mile to ease transitions for their students not only help kids be successful, they make Topeka Public Schools a great place to be!