Life After SEE Team

Life After SEE Team

2010-2011’s SEE Team students, including Kristy Francis and Paige Bottari, worked on restoring the Baseball Woods to native savannah, a project discontinued with the loss of the team.

Isabel Peña, Staff Reporter

The first day of school should be one of excitement as all the students are eager to start their new year. However, for some sophomores it is a day full of reminders that SEE Team was no more. SEE Team (School of Environmental Education) was a course offered to freshman students, and it incorporated the environment into Biology, Algebra, and English. The program was cut following the failure of the 2011 tax referendum.

A great luxury of SEE Team is that it was on its own schedule. There were plenty of field trips and there were times when their periods were shortened due to the field trips. Also, all of the classes are right by each other.

Sophomores were asked what their schedules were like this year. Kelly Haugland said, “It is a little more crazy. All of my classes are scattered around the school.”

When asked about whether or not SEE Team was missed, everyone was in agreement and said that it was. Emily Michl said, “I miss my teachers, my friends, and the field trips. I also miss going outside a lot.” The teachers miss SEE Team just as much as the students do. They took care of planning all of the trips, the curriculum, and seeing that every student gets as much out of the class as possible. Math teacher Jennifer Waldock said, “I feel it made me a more creative teacher. I’ve taught for eight years and taught on SEE Team for six years, so this is my second year not on SEE Team. I miss being able to make connections to the environment and students investing in that.”

When asked about what wasn’t missed about SEE Team, Science teacher Jame Holt said, “There were lots of meetings to coordinate trips and the curriculum, and also with students and social workers. We were able to see if kids were struggling in Math, Biology, and English. It’s something that I also miss, being able to help students academically and socially.”

Waldock said, “No, there isn’t anything that I don’t miss. I like the different schedule this year since I’ve had the same schedule for six years, but I would definitely go back.”

Michl said, “The semester long projects were stressful.”

This class didn’t just have an impact on the sophomores and teachers. It has also affected the incoming freshmen who were signed up to take the course. They were asked why they were interested in joining SEE Team as well as what they were hoping to gain from the class. Mimi Peña said, “I heard nothing but good things about it. I also wanted to be more aware of the environment.”

Louise Martin said, “I thought it would be fun. It’s a different experience that not everyone gets to enjoy.”

Austeja Staneviciute said, “I love nature and animals. I couldn’t wait to go to the zoo and learn about animals. I was hoping to gain extra knowledge about the environment and animals. I would like to be a veterinarian or be involved with the environment and I wanted to get a head start to my future.” The freshmen who signed up for SEE Team at registration thought that they had a set schedule. Then, over the course of the summer, it was decided that SEE Team was to be cut. A letter was sent to the homes of those that were enrolled in the class, explaining that they would no longer be taking SEE Team. Peña said, “I was sad when I read the letter. It was really disappointing.”

Staneviciute said, “I was really mad and sad because I was looking forward to learn more about the environment.”

In addition, the freshmen were told that they would be taking whatever their second elective choice was. They were asked how the cut affected their schedules, what classes they were taking instead of SEE Team, and if they liked that class. Martin said, “It changed my schedule a lot. Now I’m taking drawing and painting. I like it, but I would rather be taking SEE Team.”

Knowing that this cut had such an impact on those who took it as well as those who were hoping to take it, the sophomores and teachers were asked about whether or not the thought SEE Team should be re-instated.  It was a unanimous decision that it should be.

Julio Reyes said, “SEE Team should definitely be reinstated because they expose you to things you would have never cared about, and then explain why you are impacted or why you should care. Plus the field trips are amazing and everyone should be able to experience them.”

Haugland said, “Yes, they should re-instate SEE Team. It is a unique opportunity that the freshman will never be able to have again.”

Waldock said, “I do think they should re-instate it. It’s an enriching program and it’s a nice transition from junior high for the incoming freshmen.

Holt said, “I would like them to so students have the opportunity to learn through the experiences provided.”

Since SEE Team is missed by so many, the teachers were asked if they knew anything about if the class would eventually be re-instated. Holt said, “There is no decision yet. It hasn’t been ruled out, but the administrators would be concerned about the cost and the number of students enrolled.”

Waldock said, “I don’t know for sure. It’s possible-maybe with a different format. I would definitely be more than happy to see it come back.”

So maybe in the near-to-distant future SEE Team will once again be a class offered to freshman, but for now, it looks like it will take some deliberation as to whether or not it can be done.