Story by Lily Weindel ’20 and photo by Agoum Monydhel ‘20
Students hear the phrase “High school goes by fast,” and don’t think too much of it, but then they have reached their upperclassman years, and they realize that the time flew by without them even noticing.
With the first years of high school zooming by, many girls don’t often have time to reflect on what has happened to them, how they’ve grown, or how they will change for the future. This common occurrence, though, was paused in every sophomore’s literature class this semester to start working on the process – Sophomore Review.
Assistant Principal Jennifer Christen described the Sophomore Review as a way for students to reflect on their past two years of high school, while looking forward to the years ahead and beginning to make goals. Each girl was sent a form on eBackpack to fill out, including questions ranging from, “What are your thoughts on your GPA?” to “How have you stepped out of your comfort zone at Marian?” all the way to “How has your faith strengthened/changed in the last two years?”
Sophomore Bridget McKay explains how the process itself is simple: this file was in their homeroom folder, and multiple teachers reminded them about this event in the weeks preceding it.
The reviews, filled out by every sophomore in their literature class, centered around the six core values to help the sophomores assess where they are in school and facilitate a conversation between parents and their daughters. She explained that to her the review was Marian’s way to “check in” with all the girls.
McKay went to this conference with her mother, who said that it benefitted her, especially in regards to having an open conversation about faith with her daughter. “It’s easy to get caught up in the importance of academics and extracurriculars, but at the end of the day, what I want most for my daughters is a deep relationship with God,” Mrs. Kathleen McKay said. She went on to say that this conference allowed her to understand why she is invested in Marian, being able to see how different opportunities that are available for her daughter.
Each sophomore and at least one parent or guardian was required to attend a review with a teacher. “I wanted people to feel comfortable,” Christen said. “I think it matters to have a good match.”
Teachers were given multiple windows to choose which student they would accompany in the meetings. First, teachers who currently taught no sophomores got to pick a student, and then it progressed to those who taught mainly sophomore classes this year.
This allowed teachers who did not teach sophomores to be able to find girls that they may have previously known or taught. This way, they don’t have to worry about getting a student that they weren’t previously acquainted with, and each faculty member was able to select at least three sophomores.
The process was given top priority by the school, having the entire day of March 25 called off for teachers and students to complete the review, with each conference lasting between 30 and 45 minutes.
Mr. David Anderson was the teacher who “picked” McKay for her review, and he choose her based on the fact that she is currently enrolled in his class and her future plans in social studies.
“I saw that she registered for AP Euro,” Anderson said, explaining how since she is one of the few sophomores that are registered for this class that he will teach, that it would be beneficial to get to know her.
The goals they set and the questions they answered were not only for the purpose of reflection on what has already happened in their Marian careers, but also to provide something for the girls to look back on as juniors and seniors and revisit it while in the midst of their college application process. It will allow students to see if they’ve changed their goals or how they have changed since the review.
McKay says that during the review, students uploaded their goals to Naviance, for an important part of the process is to see how you can reevaluate your goals throughout high school. The sophomores will continue to log onto Naviance as a senior and will be able to see if the goals were realistic and if they were able to achieve them.
The process is here to stay and will be continued for future classes. The review is designed to be flexible to schedules and ask questions that affect every student and also resembles programs done at different schools, Christen added, such as Sophomore Conversations at Creighton Prep.
Built upon the core values, this review is here to help guide students through their sophomore year without allowing them to get lost in the fast pace of high school.