Students will not report to PRIDE next semester

Freshmen and sophomores wondering if they will have PRIDE next semester now have their answer. According to a recent meeting with PRIDE sponsors, neither freshmen nor sophomores will be having PRIDE second semester. These students will still have a 25 minute lunch period and the other half of their lunch period has yet to be determined by administrators. 

The PRIDE program gives introductory lessons on how to better acquaint students with high school. It helps students form connections at Conant through bonding activities between classmates and mentors and helps to make students aware of where to access help through both counselors and tutoring. Since its beginning during the 2016-2017 school year, juniors and seniors have worked as PRIDE mentors to instruct freshmen during half of their lunch period. This year, as a result of hybrid learning last year, PRIDE mentors have worked with both freshmen and sophomores. 

Freshmen have had PRIDE during the first half of their lunch and sophomores during the second half. It is intended for them to learn more about what is expected from them at Conant, and so they can feel more connected with their peers. It is also meant to help students to know what to do for opportunities such as the Harper Promise and how to pursue the career that they’re interested in. 

Some students felt disappointed when finding out PRIDE was not happening next semester. “I’m kinda bummed about it. The activities were pretty fun. I understand some people don’t like PRIDE, but it feels like a free period for me,” Naomi Przyborowski, ‘25 said. 

For other students currently in PRIDE, they feel that more lunch time or even a study hall during that time would be more helpful. “Personally, I love that sophomores and freshmen don’t have PRIDE next semester. Although many teachers and students do believe it was beneficial, I think a study hall or even more time to eat would help students a lot more. This year during PRIDE I didn’t really learn too much,” Nicolas Romano, ‘24 said. 

Still, students report seeing some aspects of PRIDE as beneficial. “I would say the most useful time was when the counselors came in and talked to us about the Harper Promise and our schedules for next year,” Romano said. 

Austin Sobey, a sponsor of PRIDE and a counselor for the white team, explained that the decision for PRIDE not to happen next semester “did not come easy.” In order to gauge student opinions about PRIDE, sponsors sent out a survey for mentors and students to fill out. According to the survey, the students “expressed the need for more time in their day to accomplish daily tasks.” 

Being mindful of this, PRIDE sponsors and administrators wanted to give the students more time to complete their work and to reduce any stress that they may have as a result of being unable to complete said work. “By building more time in the day for independent work, we hope to reduce the amount of social-emotional challenges students are experiencing,” Sobey said.

For students who need more of the mentor-student dynamic, PRIDE sponsors are currently discussing ways that mentors can play a role for those freshmen or sophomores as needed. One of the proposed ways was to offer peer tutoring services for mentors to tutor underclassmen. This decision is still in the works and will officially be shared in the near future.'

Jamie Okulanis

Jamie Okulanis is an Opinions Editor and a Junior at Conant. This is her second year on the Crier Staff. At Conant, Jamie is a part of PRIDE. Outside of Conant, she enjoys reading and watching new shows on Netflix.

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