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June Academy to kick off after much anticipation

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By Danielle Feinstein

   This June, instead of melting in overheated classrooms cramming for final exams, the last two weeks of the year will be an opportunity for students to take classes in subjects they are interested in, rather than academic requirements. While final exams will still be scheduled for the end of term 4 in May, this adjustment to the academic calendar will be an exciting new opportunity for students to explore their interests and transition into summer vacation.

 June Academy has also given students the opportunity to work with teachers to create and plan their own classes. Since early September, junior Olivia Fennell and history teacher Katherine . Tucker have been working together to plan WHS Shark Tank.

  “I went to Ms. Tucker and asked her if she would be interested in creating [a] course with me and she came on board,” Fennell said. “With her help, [the course] has grown and is starting to really come together.”  

  The chance to work with a teacher as an equal, rather than a student, is an opportunity unique to June Academy. It gives students and teachers a chance to bond and get to know each other outside the classroom.

  “I think it will be a great experience to learn just for fun and to get to know both the teachers and other students better,” Fennell said.

 Another pair that is working together to create a class for June Academy is junior Kathryn Augustine and science teacher Stephen Boardman.

 “I decided I wanted to plan a course for June Academy because I knew I was really interested in sports nutrition and injury prevention. So I reached out to Mr. Boardman when I found out he was talking about teaching a nutrition course,” Augustine said.

 Although the duo has just started their work, Augustine said she is excited to have the opportunity to work alongside a teacher.  

  “I would love to take a course that was taught by a student,” statistics teacher Bailey Fidler said. “My career is teaching students what I’m passionate about, but the reverse – of learning something they’re passionate about – would be amazing.”

    Fidler is working on two completely different June Academy courses: wilderness survival and bikes.

 “I think I’m most excited about working with students that I’ve taught but in a new realm” Fidler said.

  According to Principal Anthony Parker, over 70 course proposals were processed over December break. On January 6, students received a survey in advisory with the various course options to see which programs sparked the most interest.

 The courses range across many disciplines and topics, so there is something for everyone. According to the course descriptions document shared with advisory students, Loving Chick Lit is all about discussing books that are mainly marketed towards women, and exploring the themes in ‘fun’ novels.

 In Civil Rights Tour of Greater Boston, students will learn about various aspects of the Civil Rights Movement in relation to the city of Boston. Through classroom based discussion, combined with guest speakers and field trips, this class will give students the opportunity to further explore an influential time in American history.

  “I would love to see students regain their love of learning and curiosity,” math teacher Dan Gabriner said.

  Gabriner will teach Board Game Design, a course that will instruct students on “implementing an iterative design process to create a brand new board game,” according to the course description.

 June Academy is a chance for students to explore their interests and “learn for learning’s sake,” Parker said. He said this creative model will “give students the opportunity to learn about something they’re interested in, rather than the typical school subject.”

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The Student News Site of Weston High School
June Academy to kick off after much anticipation