Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Closing high schools means much anxiety

High school is complicated enough as it is. In 11th grade this year, applying to college and getting my academic act together, I would know. Imagining having to practically switch schools and start over makes me unsteady.

Closing high schools means much anxiety

By Jenn Wright
SCIENCE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

High school is complicated enough as it is. In 11th grade this year, applying to college and getting my academic act together, I would know. Imagining having to practically switch schools and start over makes me unsteady.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is expected to announce this week that several Catholic high schools in the area will close or consolidate. Which ones is not yet known.
Depending on the school spirit of an individual, the first thought may be something along the lines of “Why my school?” As the realization sets in that it is actually happening after the current school year, questions about the future are infinite.

Beside obvious concerns such as which teachers make the cut, how traditions will change and the very name of the school, an important question on the periphery is  what happens to sports?

The very idea might put some athletes in a cold sweat. Not only does the rivalry between schools play a part, but just who exactly now gets to play.
People in Philly understand the idea of rivalry better than most. Most often, certain grade schools graduate to certain high schools. Playing as teammates with kids you have been playing against since the fifth grade CYO is unthinkable.

Having my grade school, St. Lucy in Manayunk, consolidate for the 2005-2006 school year to what is now Holy Child, I know what will be felt by many students.
As an athlete, the biggest issue is where you stand on this new hybrid team. The starters and all-stars may not continue to be when double or more people are being considered for any team.

Many athletes have been honing the athletic skill for the sole reason of being an all-star in high school. You would no longer be a big fish in a little pond, and a dose of reality may come faster than normal.
Students keen on playing sports in college would be concerned about the future of their high school teams.

Students don’t see school consolidation in terms of the money, but rather how this affects their everyday routine. Freshmen will automatically groan in frustration knowing they will need to relearn their schedules. Sophomores may share a similar feeling, plus where they will fit in now?

As upperclassmen, juniors will bellyache about how they will have to spend their senior year at a new school. This screws up prom and graduation.
Seniors care but not too much. They just cannot wait to leave.

What I could foresee being an advantage for some might be the opportunity to see the opposite gender on a daily basis. Or what happened in my case, go to school with other friends.

Most students in Philly do not know much about how school budgets are manipulated other than that there is not enough money to sustain them. To students, though, it seems as if the cons of this move would surely outweigh the pros.

Jenn can be contacted at jwright@scienceleadership.org

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