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The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The limelight on Life class

New required Life class aims to give students an opportunity to learn important life skills
Kaleb+Pace%2C+English+teacher%2C+explaining+the+community+builder+for+the+day+to+his+Life+class.
Olivia Wang
Kaleb Pace, English teacher, explaining the community builder for the day to his Life class.

Students are required to take the new Life class in order to graduate. The class consists of teaching students life skills they will use once entering society. The class also emphasizes community and team building to help students practice skills they will use in real life situations.

Life class is split into two parts: the first segment is used to complete assignments that are part of the class’ curriculum, and the second segment is organized by the teacher and what they want their students to do with the time. The class time is also used for activities and events that have previously cut through other classes, such as school assemblies, the club fair, and guest speakers.

Life class has also doubled as an access period called flex period. Students can sign up for a flex period with a teacher they would like to see during life class, on select days. This offers students a time where they can get help from their teacher, or finish and missing assignments and tests, rather than coming in before school, during lunch, or after school. 

One skill that has been introduced through Life class is writing an email in a professional manner.

Anna Crandall, English teacher, thinks that writing emails is still a life skill that students still need to work on.

“I still get emails from seniors that are really informal, and you can’t go out into the world and send an email like that,” Crandall said. 

Misha Rana, sophomore, believes that students should be able to take advantage of the new eight class schedule by forecasting for more classes, instead of Life class taking up that spot.

“It kind of just wastes a period that you could take to just have another elective, or to double up on another class,” Rana said. “I think that would be a better use of the period in this new schedule.” 

Aside from Life class taking up one of the class spots, Life class also carries less credit than the year-long classes offered. One semester of Life class counts for .25 credits, meaning you will only receive .5 credits once finishing one year of life class.

The Life class curriculum is different among each grade level. Crandall’s life class consists of freshmen, so Crandall views Life class as an important class to help introduce them to high school.

“Even just how to use StudentVue, how to check your grades, that kind of stuff is not stuff anybody really tells you when you come in as a freshman, you have to figure it out yourself,” Crandall said.

When students are assigned to their Life classes, they will have the same classmates and teacher until they graduate. Crandall believes that this is a great aspect when it comes to community and having a group of supportive peers.

“[Life class] would be a place where you could have a group of peer and adult advocates who can help you and support you as you go through high school,” Crandall said.

Rana was unhappy at first, but thinks this could also be a good opportunity to become better peers with her Life class classmates.

“I was really upset to hear this because I know that inevitably, they’re going to be people that I find [that] distract me or that I just don’t really like in my class,” Rana said. “But I do have a lot of acquaintances that I do think I’ll be able to grow closer with through this time.”

Life class will continue the curriculum they have planned throughout the rest of the 2023-2024 school year. Some students, like Rana, hope that changes will be made in the future.

“I hope that at some point, the district will decide to remove this class,” Rana said. “I think there’s definitely going to be a lot of students that don’t look past the negative parts of this class, and they will just forever see Life class as like a chore.”

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Olivia Wang, Staff Reporter
Olivia Wang, freshman, is a new addition to this year’s wlhsNOW staff. Wang’s previous journalism includes working on writing articles for a nonprofit organization. Aside from journalism, Wang is a member of the West Linn High School’s chamber orchestra and a competitive swimmer outside of school. Wang hopes to gain more experience in journalism and be able to meet new people through writing more articles for wlhsNOW.
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