Plans for 2015- 2016 School Year with First Graduating Class

Elyse Luecke, Staff Writer

As the school year comes to a close, teachers, administrators, and students start to think about next year’s plans. The 2015-2016 school year will be the first with a senior class, and several new classes and electives were created such as: 1818 literature, creative writing,  calculus 1, and elementary statistics with computers.

1818 classes are sponsored by St. Louis University and are meant to provide students with a glimpse of what college courses look like. Students who participate in this these courses will be experiencing the academic rigors expected of them in college. These courses are only offered to juniors and seniors and count towards college credit.

As for pathways, new additions to the course list have to accommodate the senior class. This means that there will be at least one more class added to the grouping of a specific course. For example, Ballet and Acting IV will be added to the theater and dance department to fulfill the requirements of seniors.

Besides new classes, college counselor, Erica Snelson, said there are many events for seniors to look forward to such as prom, senior week, and graduation. Each of these events are still being discussed, and she said many of the plans are in the works. For example, there will be a prom and graduation committee consisting of parents, teachers and students. Courtney Young, geometry teacher, is one of the senior class sponsors.

“I want seniors to be excited because they are leaving a legacy, but they are also starting a new chapter in going to college, the workforce, and adulthood.” Young says.

Young is also looking forward to hearing what creative ideas students come up with for what would make senior year fun.

Another important component of senior year is college preparation, which Snelson has worked hard to prepare for this year.

“There are opportunities for seniors to take college courses, internships, get together portfolios, work on audition pieces, work on scholarship applications, and filling out college applications.” Snelson said.

College preparations are comprised of one on one sessions, family sessions, and presentations by Snelson.

Snelson also explained why senior year is different from any other year. Preparations for college causes students to come in with a different attitude.

“Students are more focused because they are close to the end,” Snelson said, “the year is a balance between fun, relaxation, and hard work if [students] have done what they were suppose to do from ninth to eleventh grade.”

These responsibilities, she explained, consist of good grades, college eligibility, and a strong work ethic.

So far, there are no other special privileges in place for the class of 2016 except the typical senior events such as prom and senior week; some students hope this might change.

“I think that [senior year] will be different from previous years because we may have more advantages as being the first senior class, and also because we may have less things to do.”

However, Snelson argues that senior year is full of hard work, especially with the focus on college.

Chloe Viner, 11th grade, predicts the year will go smoothly, but it will also contain much excitement. She also believes it will be bittersweet. “This will be a big milestone for GCAA as we now have a complete middle school and high school. This will be the year (besides the first) that people talk about.”

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