35 weeks, 175 days, 1,269 hours- no matter how it’s broken down, each school year brings a large part of a high school student’s life is spent in the classroom.
According to assistant principal Deb Boyer, the fear of a student being limited, restricted, and uninterested in school is not uncommon.
Boyer said she spoke to a family considering Seaholm for their student. Their main concern was that their student would be forced into set curriculum rather than their own unique choices. Boyer told the family that Seaholm would offer a variety of options for their student.
“We individualize. You tell us what you want and what your goals are,” Boyer said.
Principal Dee Barash also said that Seaholm tries to remain as flexible as possible, but sometimes requirements and scheduling get in the way of every student having their ideal class schedule.
“Some things are just non-negotiable,” Barash said. “There are certain requirements set by the state of Michigan.”
According to Barash, Seaholm works hard to ensure that all students meet their graduation requirements. However, they still try to remain open-minded about how students would like to fulfill these credits.
“You have to have some type of fine arts elective,” Barash said. “We are very lenient on what that could be.”
Barash said that once students fulfill basic graduation requirements, their schedule is mainly their decision.
“You have a lot of say in choosing classes after these requirements,” Barash said.
According to Barash, the role students have in choosing their classes at Seaholm is often greater than in other policies she has seen.
“There are a lot of schools that will tell you what path you will take,” Barash said.
Barash said an example of this is the math program at Seaholm.
“We have a sophomore taking AP calculus this year,” Barash said. “Many schools wouldn’t let you do that.”
Junior Savannah Wiseman said that the idea of students choosing which level of a class is best for them is important to her.
“I think students should have a more prominent role [in choosing their curriculum] because they’re the ones who are doing the learning and they know what works for them and what doesn’t, “Wiseman said.
According to Boyer, it’s important that students get to know their counselor so they can assure their curriculum meets their personal goals.
“Your counselor can be as good a friend as you want to you over these four years,” Boyer said.
Boyer said that the counselors are in place to work with students on a highly individualized basis.
You can go to your counselor and tell your counselor which schools you want to get in and they can tell you which courses you will need to have on your transcript,” Boyer said.
Boyer said that the school is also not afraid to step in when a student’s goals seems too unrealistic.
“If you tell me you want to go to med school and can’t pass a math or science class to save your life, we’re probably going to talk,” Boyer said.
Like Boyer, Senior Zoe Frank said that it is essential that each student is able to follow their own interests and set their own goals.
“[The curriculum] should be what they enjoy. I think it should be a separate curriculum for students based on their interests, “Frank said.
Barash said that ultimately she wants to ensure Seaholm is giving students a path to their own success.
“We don’t hold you back,” Barash said.