Pacelli Students Participate in J Term
By Robert Whitmire
Students at Stevens Point Pacelli High School are taking part in an innovative learning experience during the month of January.
This mid-term learning opportunity, known as the J-Term, lasts for three weeks between the first and second semesters. This mini-semester allows students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into one chosen subject, which counts as a single semester class.
“The idea was to provide students with interesting, non-traditional classes during the year,” said Pacelli Principal Jeff Brengman. “Because the teachers are teaching classes they do not regularly teach, both students and teachers see each other in a different light and different environment.”
Now in its second year, classes include Introduction to Astronomy, Contemporary Music, Aspects of High School and College Sports – Business Operations, Exploring Washington D. C., Dance Evolution – Ethnic, Cultural and Social Forms, Literal Service Learning, Introduction to Instrumental Music, Disney – The study of an American Icon, Personal Training and Healthy Living and Internship – Student Investigation of Professional Interest.
Some of the J-Term classes include travel to enhance the enjoyment and learning experience for students and teachers. Trips planned for the 2014 term include Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida where the class will participate in the Disney Youth Education Series, and a trip to our nation’s capital is also planned for the class Exploring Washington D.C.
Students in the Literal Service Learning will learn about and lend a hand at local assistance- related agencies like CAP Services, Operation Bootstrap, Catholic Charities and Salvation Army Hope Center.
Brengman said the concept was implemented with the other changes we made at Pacelli last school year, which also included a new schedule model, open study, no bells between classes and a mentor program.
“Classes are in addition to other courses- they are not replacement classes,” Brengman said. “Students can only take one J-Term class each year and all students are required to take a class.”
J-Term classes change each year and follow some of the suggestions proposed by students and teachers. The class suggestions are then reviewed by the school’s curriculum committee before being approved.
More information on the individual courses being offered this term can be viewed at http://pacelli.spacs.k12.wi.us/home/departments/january-term.