In our June 2021 Hawks Happenings newsletter, we mentioned that College Place High School was going to add a two-week J Term grading period, nestled between first and second semester in the middle of January. As we transitioned away from the trimesters structure to our now semesters structure, the idea of a two-week window of time where we could really look at "doing school differently" appealed to a wide array of stakeholders as we looked into this possibility.
On Tuesday November 2nd during Hawk Time, we will roll-out to our students the J Term registration process, giving students a week to read about the course offerings for J Term and talk to teachers about their courses, before having them choose their top five selections the following week.
We are excited about the possibilities of J Term for planting seeds of potential post high school ambitions, building stronger relationships with our teachers, and getting an opportunity to dig into true project based learning opportunities with these fun and dynamic courses.
Here are a couple of items we wanted to make sure to highlight on as we prepare for J Term:
--What is the J Term Bell Schedule?
As you can see from the attached J Term Bell Schedule image, or from the link to the bell schedules posted here, the first J Term AM session doesn't start until 9:00am. If your student drives, walks, or gets dropped off to school they do not need to be here until 9:00am. However, for all bus riders (students who ride the bus will continue their normal bus riding times) and for any students who wish to be dropped off earlier, our cafeteria is open for students until their AM session begins.
--What if I am in band or choir?
Because our music programs are preparing for various concerts and competitions, we are still asking that all band and choir students plan to attend their band or choir class from 8:00-9:00am. Mr. Morasch and Ms. Thomson have shared that information with their music students as well, but we wanted to make sure you were also aware.
--Are J Term classes worth credits, and can I see them in Skyward?
Yes! Each J Term session is worth a .5 elective credit, and is part of the opportunity for students to ensure they meet the required amount of high school credits for on-time graduation status.
Also, each J Term course is now listed in Skyward where, similar to regular courses, teachers will keep accurate grades information posted.
--What if my student does not seem interested in their J Term course?
We worked very hard to ensure that the courses we designed were centered around student interests as well as teacher passions. As a result, we have been fortunate that almost all of our seniors and juniors have bee able to enroll in their first choice of J Term class in both the AM and PM session. However, some of our underclassmen are enrolled in a class that may have been their third, forth, or fifth place selections.
One of the things I try to tell our 9th grade students who may seem uninterested in their J Term class is that you never know how something that seemingly had little interest to you at the start, can turn out to be something that you are thankful for having studied after the fact. For me, it was a college class on birdwatching that I thought was going to be dreadful, but, in fact, turned out to be interesting and allows me to have conversations with people about the topic that I otherwise would not have been able to do. For students who really do need to entertain a J Term schedule change, we will, of course, see if we can find an alternate if need be.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.