Recently, a number of students in the 11th grade were questioning their being in BSGE, and tried, some successfully, to leave the school. To understand better what may cause students to leave the school, students from each grade were interviewed and asked their opinions of BSGE. Julian Benayoun ’12 said that what frustrated him was “The magnitude of the homework that we get on a daily basis. I don’t like when these assignments interfere with one another and when these homework assignments count so much towards your grades in school.” Alejandra Cruz ’13 said she is frustrated with “the amount of work that is being consistently piled on. For example, when there is a big paper due, and at the same time, many homework assignments that need to be done. The pressure that we get for IB tests and Extended Essay is also a lot.” Five other students interviewed had similar opinions as Alejandra and Julian and felt the most frustrating aspect was the workload. Overall, the work involved in school continued to surface as the most difficult aspect of the school.
Alejandra Cruz ’13 said “at the beginning, I did want to leave, but now, I feel like this school will really prepare me for college.” Another student had a similar opinion to Alejandra’s about staying in BSGE because it will help in the long run. Kathleen Ortiz ’13 said “I think I would have because the only way you can do very well is if you are really on top of the work, and there are times when I slacked off. I probably would have been better off in another school.” Two other students felt that the work given pushes them towards leaving the school. Leaving the school would have probably been best for them in their opinion. Olivia Witting ’14 said “I wouldn’t have left, we’re the best school in the state. But that is not the reason. The reason is that I feel the teachers are very involved and interested in helping you succeed. The atmosphere here is also great, it feels like everyone wants to be here. The grades are also mix and interact with one another. There aren’t any exclusive cliques, it feels like we can talk with one another.” Three other students had similar opinions concerning friends in BSGE that encourage them to stay in the school. To them, the school may have had flaws, but the friends they had in school were able to make up for these flaws.
Mr. Laskowski, the current 7th grade Physical science teacher and 9th grade Forensic science teacher, was asked if he thought that students would be better off staying in the school rather than leaving and responded “I think that students who graduate from BSGE will be extremely well prepared for the rigors of college life. I have yet to meet a BSGE Alumnus who felt overwhelmed by the college experience and workload.”
Dr. Helfenbein, the current Diploma Level Biology teacher and 7th grade science teacher, was asked the same question and responded, “I think that students would benefit by staying here if they can accommodate the workload. On the other hand, if there is an option to move and the students and parents feel that moving is the best option then they should have the right to move. But it is a shame that some students don’t understand that their work effort is the most important aspect of school. Walking away from that will not help the student in and of itself.