Option students adjust to in-person learning, flexible instruction

The Option space for students in grades 9-11 is located in the rear of the high school by the fieldhouse.  Senior Teddy Spetz is pleased that hes enrolled in this program.  He said, “If you’re willing to stay focused, there’s benefits that you can get in here that you can’t get in normal classes.”

The Option space for students in grades 9-11 is located in the rear of the high school by the fieldhouse. Senior Teddy Spetz is pleased that he’s enrolled in this program. He said, “If you’re willing to stay focused, there’s benefits that you can get in here that you can’t get in normal classes.”

Alex Hliatzos, Staff Writer

The 2021-22 school year is well underway, and feedback about The Option has been mostly positive.

English teacher Kerry Rutigliano believes The Option, which is an alternative learning pathway, is significantly better than last year, primarily due to the removal of remote learning. She said, “[The Option] is going good…I think that it’s definitely growing, this is the third year, and last year most of the kids were learning remotely, so it’s really refreshing to have a full crew — kids are meant to be in school.”

Rutigliano explained that students in The Option have had various reactions to it. She said, “I think there’s a pretty big bandwidth in terms of where kids are. Some kids are still in the season of struggle.”

Rutigliano said that one of the goals of The Option is to emphasize time-management skills. She said, “That autonomy to evaluate how to spend their time — so that they can be more productive — is probably one of the most important skills. Those 21st-century skills that are really tied to decision thinking—those are really made visible in The Option.”

Teddy Spetz, a senior who has participated in The Option for the past two years, has enjoyed the flexibility. He said, “During all your classes in The Option, you’re going to talk to your teachers for the first 15-20 minutes, but after that, you get the time to focus on what you need to get done. So if you’re behind in a class, you have time to work on that.”

On the other hand, some students, such as Owen Blanco, initially enrolled in The Option, but have decided to return to the traditional classroom. He said, “I left [the Option] because I started doing really bad because I procrastinated and didn’t get my work done. You could ask [teachers] for help, but there wasn’t any formal instruction.”

Blanco said that if he could change one thing about The Option, it would be for the teachers to check-in more frequently with students. “Maybe that would make me want to come back,” he said.

Next year will be the first year in which The Option is available to students in all grade levels.