Ways to Improve the 8th Grader Visit

Every year, the school hosts an event in which the 8th graders from Bradley, Driscoll, and Garner can all visit the campus and get a glimpse of many of the notable clubs and organizations, as well as get a tour of the buildings at the school. This year, the event was held on Jan 12. and showcased many electives and programs. 

The morning started with performances from orchestra and PFC, followed by a showcase by theater. Presentations were then given by JROTC, CTE (Career Technical Education), MacUP, the Dual Language Program, and Coach Hirst representing all of the athletic programs. The time in the auditorium was finished with a pep rally performance featuring band, cheer, and dance, with all groups being able to talk to the audience and give a spiel to convince the future Brahmas to join their respective organizations. 

This event does a lot of good, showing next year’s incoming freshmen a number of options that they may not have known about prior to their visit.

“I got really excited by the PFC program and the pep rally,” Driscoll student Katie Malone said. “I’ve always been into musical theater and a cappella so that was just a cool experience.”

With that being said, there are many ways that can improve the impact of the event. Many of the programs that were shown are very well known and would already have tons of interest without the event, like the band, dance, and cheer. The event should be focusing on areas of the school that aren’t as well known to the average student. Many of these programs got little to no mention in the entire showcase.

Electives and organizations (available to freshmen) that got overlooked include but are not limited to Debate, Sports Medicine, Journalism (including newspaper and yearbook), Mexican-American studies, African-American studies, and even Cyber-Security.

The brand new cyber-security program, which will take place in the building right down MacArthur View and next to the school, has had a lot of work put into it in the last few years, so it’s very surprising that such little mention of it was put into the presentation. An argument could be made that the reason it wasn’t advertised is the 150 student limit per class, but if the school wants to expand the program and get more students into it in the future, this would’ve been the perfect opportunity to inform as many students about it as possible.

Classes like debate, sports medicine, and journalism are very important classes that could lead to vast career opportunities for students, such as lawyers, medical trainers, and reporters. Students could be missing out on a possible passion by not being aware of these areas of study sooner.

Options like Mexican and African-American studies should be mentioned to incoming students who would like to study their heritage. These classes could help students a lot with learning more about themselves, and a very small percentage of students at the school right now are even aware of these courses.

While these other classes and organizations may not be as flashy as the more popular organizations, they are still essential and can really help future students. The school should strongly consider revising their presentations to 8th graders in future years to diversify the courses and clubs that can be known to the student body.

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