Monday, October 02, 2006
The New Haven Unified School District's independent study program now is based in Logan's room 80 after a year Conley-Carabello High School and stints at various other district sites over the years.
Independent study program instructor Louise Schultz works with an independent study student in room 80. The program, which is about 15 years old, is specially designed for students who don’t or can’t learn in a classroom environment. There are various reasons why one would enroll in the program. For example, many have health issues such as chronic diseases, others are young parents and some simply are afraid of being in a classroom full of students. However, 80% of the students attend independent studies because of truancy.
Students meet with program instructors Louise Shultz or Alan Johnson once a week to discuss their work and then are assigned more homework. Each student spends about twenty to twenty-five hours a week completing their assignments.
Senior Sophie Kohyar, an independent study student, said, “Being in a regular classroom was so stressful; I could never pay attention, now I work at my own pace and on my own time. I’m glad it returned to Logan because I still feel like a Logan student and I can still see my friends.”
“Not everyone is the same, some people just work better this way,” Shultz said.
An advantage of the move is that, with the program now headquartered at Logan, students can now take regular classes at the same time they are enrolled in the program. They are now also eligible to play sports and attend school activities and events.
However, Shultz thinks the move may have done more harm than good: “So far we’ve lost two teachers that were loved and we went from 180 students to 60 students, I’m not too excited about the whole change.”
Some students agree.“I’m bummed out that the program is back at Logan now," senior Zinab Safi, who’s been in the program for almost two years, said. "I hate coming to school, I was more independent last year, and one of the reasons why I wanted to leave was so get away from the school.”
More than one reason lead to the move. Conley-Carabello was lacking space and simple did not have sufficient room to hold the program. Another reason is that the credit requirements are lower at Conley and now that it is back to Logan, the students require the same amount of credits to graduate as a regular student from Logan.
“They are Logan students getting Logan diplomas, and graduating with their class, so it only makes sense for it to be at Logan”, Shultz said.