Education Takes a Road Less Traveled at the New Frederick High

As  many are aware, Frederick High is currently building a new high school in front of the old school. What makes the new Frederick High so special? The LYNX program that will begin next year with the freshmen.

“And I, I took the road less traveled.” A quote from the poem “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost represents the new and improved learning style that will begin next year with the freshmen class of 2021.  This new learning style is called the LYNX Program, which stands for Linking Youth to New Experiences.

LYNX was brought into the school through many different ideas. Ms. Shearer, LYNX Project Manager, and Ms. Campagnoli, Principal on Assignment,  have worked on, and are still working tirelessly to make the high school experience great for all students. Many students, teachers, and parents took part in surveys about the new school that Ms. Shearer and Ms. Campagnoli initiated last year to determine what students were looking for to enhance their high school experience. One survey that the students took asked them what they would like to have in the new school. Half the students said they wanted to go off campus for lunch. The other half said something completely different. Other students wanted more satisfaction with school.

“Out of the many surveys, there were four common ideas mentioned in the surveys. Advocacy, partnerships, innovative instruction, and a flexible schedule were the four most common ideas among all the students,” said Ms. Shearer.

To improve advocacy in schools, Ms. Shearer and Ms. Campagnoli plan to have stronger mentors available to students to help them identify their passions as an incoming freshman if they do not already know what academic areas they want to explore. Partnerships are already available to seniors but not to underclassmen. There are a lot of students at Frederick High that participate in CTC, but that is one specific option. With the LYNX program, students will have the opportunity to go on field trips, have job shadowing opportunities, and internships available to students before their senior year to get involved in potential careers. Instruction will include more hands on opportunities, online classes, and more relevant projects that will better engage the students. Lastly, there will be a flexible schedule. Students will still have a four block schedule, it may just be at a different time. Evening classes will be available to students who chose to start their day later than the normal start time.

In the new school schedule, there will be eight blocks. There are two options on scheduling, the normal schedule (blocks one through four) or a new option (blocks two through five). This is a staggered start for students and teachers. Teachers will have the opportunity to teach for blocks two through five. “

“We are also proposing an early dinner hour to provide nourishment for students who may not be home for a meal,” said Ms. Campagnoli. Blocks seven and eight will be for students who are taking an online class.

“The extended day blocks are not mandatory for all ninth graders.  During this time, students may access computers to do on-line learning coursework with support from trained staff to assist them,” Ms. Campagnoli explained.  “We are hoping to have buses available to provide transportation home for students who choose to stay later in the day, but many students may already be within walking distance.”

Security will also be improved for the extended hours at the new Frederick High. There will always be at least one security guard on campus at all times to make sure that everyone feels safe, especially later in the e evening if the student is there during blocks seven and eight.

“The LYNX program will begin with the incoming freshmen class of 2021, the same year as the opening of the new school,” said Ms. Campagnoli. “Every freshman will be a part of the LYNX program but this does not exclude the other grades. 10-12th graders will be allowed to participate in the new accommodations as long as there is space available.”

Four advisors, similar to guidance counselors, will be devoted to the new set of freshmen and help them figure out where their passion is, get adjusted to school, and find connections with people who are successful in the field of study that they are interested in. Freshmen will still have their regular guidance counselor as well. Once the group of freshmen move onto their 10th and 11th grade years, they will be in contact with their advisor in the working field that their ninth grade advisor put in place for them. The ninth grade advisors will stay behind and work with the next generation of freshmen. There will be active screens that will be available to students to google chat with their advisor instead of the students having to go and meet their advisors or vice versa. It is possible that their advisor from the real world will invite them to come on a tour or meet in person, but having the active screens would allow for more accessible contact and more frequent contact. Then in their senior year, the students will have their guidance counselors to help them with their college applications and with their future career choices.

Frederick High School will be the only high school to have extended school hours and the ability to earn credits in a different way. One way students will be able to earn their credit in a different way is through sports. If a student plays a sport in high school, they will be able to earn their physical education credit through their sport.

LYNX is a new take on school that has never been done in the state of Maryland. Frederick High is innovating the high school experience, taking the road less traveled. You can be a part of this new and improved high school experience.

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