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IGSS faces changes next year

Due to decreasing enrollment, junior and senior IGSS will be combined

Jessa Snower

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Next year, IGSS is changing the structure of their program to fit the smaller enrollment size.

The changes include combining juniors and seniors and there will be no more science included. There will  also be three less teachers in the program.

Current IGSS students are excited to have juniors and seniors combined. They have done this multiple times this year and each time they feel it’s been a huge success.

Junior Julia Birdsell believes that having juniors and seniors together will be good for the program.

“I think having the juniors and seniors combined next year will really create an intimate atmosphere and I’m excited to get to know the incoming juniors and create relationships with them personally.”

IGSS coordinator and English teacher Jeffrey Markham agreed. “IGSS is special because kids who are different ages and who take classes at different levels are in class together all the time.”

To IGSS, this change will not be that large or different. The bigger difference will be the size of the program.

The enrollment this year was smaller than last, and the future of the program’s curriculum is uncertain. With less people, the program already had to cut the science classes.

Though this will be a big change to the program, there is excitement for what is to come.

Junior Lolly Vassilian says, “While this is a huge change I’m very excited to see what this new and improved IGSS has to offer.”

There are currently 78 kids in junior and senior IGSS this year and there will be 42 students next year. Since the program’s creation in 2009, there have been fluctuations in class sizes. However, this year is significantly smaller than last.

Although there is some excitement for what is to come for the future of IGGS, some members are upset that there are less people willing to join the program.

“It’s sad that not as many people will be able to experience the program. It is an amazing program so it’s really sad for me to see it get smaller,” Junior Mae Garland said.

Also, without science there will be one less period that the students spend together.

Vassilian went on to say that “the extra period together really helped us all get to know each other and get into the groove of IGSS.”

IGSS alum Maddie Murray (16) now attends McGill University, and she believes the reason she got into such a high achieving school was because of IGSS.

She wishes more people would join the program so they, too, could see the benefits of IGSS, both in and outside the classroom. “I feel like if more people understood the value it gives both your transcript and your life in general they’d apply.”

IGSS currently meets 6th through 9th period everyday. Within the program this year, juniors take English, social studies and science and seniors take English, social studies and art.

Next year, the juniors will no longer get credit for science within IGSS.

IGSS stands for Integrated Global Studies School. This mini school within New Trier gives students a small school feel.

Students in IGSS are be able to direct their own learning in class, giving them an opportunity to experience a different type of learning.

The program encourages an integrated curriculum that focuses on inquiry-based learning, and students have the option to opt out of letter grades, and receive narratives instead.

“The learning environment allows for the students to focus on what they are interested it, which makes school 10 times better,” said Garland.

The program started in the 2009-2010 school year and has evolved over the years, but with the change next year it will be similar to that first school year.

Markham is excited for what is to come, “you can expect some big changes with IGSS over the next few years. We’re thinking outside the box in terms of enrollment and subjects— there may even be a name change to signal our new identity.”

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IGSS faces changes next year