New School Year Brings Big Changes to Small Learning Communities

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Over the next year, the entire small learning community (SLC) system at Drake will be overhauled to provide better opportunities for all students.                                        

According to Principal Liz Seabury, the entire teaching staff is working on recreating the SLC program into a less stressful process that fulfills the needs and wants of all underclassmen equally. The present system presents a choice to entering freshmen that would mold their educational experience in their underclassman years: to join either ROCK, DaVinci, or The Learning Collaborative. In the past, students experienced wide-ranging experiences, and many students have expressed displeasure with an alleged variance between the programs.

“We’ve realized in the last four or five years that we’re kind of just running into problems with [SLCs],” Seabury said. “The whole ‘which one do you want, you have to pick one’; all that stress [is] too much. We don’t want kids to have that kind of stress. They should just come to high school and be awesome.”

Junior Olivia Nardell, a former ROCK student, conveyed satisfaction with her choice of SLC, and said that “not only has it prepared me for junior year already, my friends who were in other SLCs are like, ‘Junior year is already kind of beating me up.’” Seabury hopes that the reconfiguration of the SLCs will prepare all underclassmen for upperclassman rigor equally.

Potentially, a new SLC system will prepare all students equally for their junior and senior years.