Editorial: J-Term was a resounding success


Photo submitted

Glass blowing was just one of the many sessions offered during the school’s first successful J-Term.

Megaphone Staff

Cathedral High School has experienced much growth and change amidst the past few years, and a positive addition to the current school year was the two-week J-Term (J standing for January) that took place after Christmas break. While the second semester was delayed in order to fit J-Term classes into the schedule, this new aspect to the school’s usual post-break schedule proved to be a resounding success.

J-Term consisted of numerous different classes being offered to sophomore and older students, with the Freshman Class having a separate schedule. Courses ranged across many different subjects and interests, and while seniors had their first pick of classes, all students outside of the freshmen were able to participate in one- or two-week courses they were interested in.

One thing all the classes did have in common? They all provided a type of learning and subject matter that was outside anything Cathedral has previously offered. From Intro to 3D Printing to College 101, some of the courses offered students the chance to gain insight or further knowledge on possible passions of theirs, while others, such as Let’s Crochet!, gave students the opportunity to possibly pick up a new hobby and help those in need along the way.

Furthermore, the term provided students with a chance to acclimate back to a school environment without the strenuous feel of tests, quizzes and homework looming. With a large amount of time slotted away, teachers were able to plan for and accomplish many fun things, from taking field trips to excellent parks for hikes or inviting guest speakers to the school.

While Cathedral has always done a tremendous job of encouraging students to learn things they don’t typically have at most high schools, the J-Term gave the students a further ability to delve into a passion of theirs that might not line up with their usual school curriculum. Very few high school students get to take home the memory of learning how to blow glass or make a fire, and yet not only did Cathedral supply its students with opportunities such as these, the administration made sure through the absence of homework that students had the ability to commit full focus to their respective courses.

The start of regular school following J-Term should not mask the hard work that was put into planning the term and making sure all the gears ran smoothly. Vice Principal Mr. Mark Matthews, along with the help of many others, was instrumental in pulling off the first J-Term up on the Hill.

And behind each and every J-Term course was the careful thought and preparation of the teachers. The term provided instructors with a new twist on teaching along with the opportunity to educate students about their different personal hobbies or passions. Some classes called for many teachers to chaperone and teach, while others were taught only by one. All in all, the J-Term needed the full cooperation and enthusiasm of the entire faculty and administration in order to happen.

Despite long days with many hours to fill, the administration and the teachers found ways to plug holes and keep the students involved throughout the two weeks. However, even then there was still time left open here and there, especially as the days went on. The prospect of filling six-hour school days with one subject for an entire school week (or in some cases, two) posed a tough challenge to tackle. Down time is no doubt time that can be used productively; however, next year’s J-Term gives administration the chance to figure out how to possibly fill more of the empty space many classes seemed to have in between trips or lessons. With the creativity and same thorough planning that went into the initial J-Term likely to be present next year, students and teachers alike should not be worried about the 2023 J-Term.

In summation, though, for a pilot experiment, the first J-Term to hit Cathedral’s campus was an amazing experience and one that hopefully returns for future school years. The current Freshman Class will undoubtedly look forward to the chance to choose from the wide range of courses offered.

Thanks to the initiative of the administration and the drive of the students and teachers to get the most out of the term, Cathedral’s first J-Term was certainly a bright spot in the school year.