Too Much Pressure? Does College-Obsessed High School Result in Loss of Passion for Learning?

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Scarsdale High School seniors were interviewed for Rachel Wolfe’s documentary. (Screenshot from documentary)

Last week Brian Walach shared Scarsdale High School student Rachel Wolfe’s documentary on the GHS Innovation Lab blog.

“Watch this. Right now,” Walach wrote. We did.

Wolfe interviewed her peers at Scarsdale High School, as well as staff including guidance counselors, and even the littlest elementary school students.

One of the most compelling moments in the film takes place when Wolfe asks fellow seniors to talk about their passions and they are at an absolute loss for words.

(Thank you Rachel Wolfe for letting us share your film on Greenwich Free Press).


Last week the BOE rejected a proposal to add AP World History in 9th grade.

Testimonials of three GHS seniors were compelling. They all asked the board not to ratchet up pressure and workload on freshmen in the year they typically find their place in the 2,700 strong school, make friends, and find clubs and activities that are a good fit.

The board appeared to be listening. Even the head of the GEA asked the board to remember that 9th graders are just 14 and to think twice about offering them a college level course.

The report of the nixing of AP World History struck chord a chord with Greenwich Free Press readers.

Coincidence that at the same meeting, the BOE gave a hearty thumbs-up to the Innovation Lab proposal? Do the decisions portend a larger trend in the mini city that is  Greenwich High School?

What if?
A team of popular GHS teachers spearheaded the Innovation Lab pilot. Materials describe a school-within-a-school.

A letter to parents of prospective Innovation Lab students reads, “In the real world, people don’t stop because a bell rings. We don’t think your students should have to either.

And even though the deadline to apply is not until January, Dr. Winters said applications are coming in steadily. This begs the question: What if everyone wants to be in Innovation Lab?

What if its popularity builds, and the pilot will become permanent. If the program doubles its size in the same manner as AVID, enrollment at the traditional GHS will again shrink.

Could GHS eventually become single roof stretching over multiple smaller high schools that students apply for?

Rachel Wolfe’s documentary chronicles the downside to the college admission obsession. Reaching all the way down to students just learning to read, the message is clear.

Related:

GHS Innovation Lab Builds Momentum, Enthusiasm

Freshman AP World History Nixed at GHS

GHS Headmaster Weighs in on Young People and Stress at Fathers’ Forum

Come Adversity or Tragedy, Resilient Kids Cope Better

Father’s Forum: Children and Stress


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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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