By Marion Delostrinos, Jose Rodriguez, Andres Ruelas, Steven Ruiz and Jasmine Villegas
There is a lot of anger from the junior class at Rainier because students feel that the news of the school shutting down came out of the blue with no power to change it. Juniors feel disappointed that they have to break off connections with the staff and other community members. In a survey reporters sent to the junior class, Rainier junior Abraham Rios stated: “Me leaving my group and my mentor is such a depressing thought that runs through my head, because as these three years have progressed, these people have really grown on me.”
Common concerns around the need to move to another school are how students will commute to this new campus for students who are going to Tahoma. According to survey data collected by Rainier faculty, 75% of juniors who responded to the survey said they would consider attending Tahoma if transportation was provided (that number represents 60 students, which is 68.9% of the current Rainier junior class).
Survey data collected by Rainier faculty shows the influence of key factors in Rainier juniors’ plans for next school year:
In addition, 78% of the current Rainier junior class responded to a journalism survey about the upcoming school closure. Out of those respondents, 68% said they felt that the impact of closing Rainier was negative. Data from this survey also showed that two of the biggest concerns Rainier juniors have are needing to make up P.E. credits and incomplete grades.
Rainier Office Assistant Adriana Sanchez said the issue of PE credits will depend on the school that students are transferring to. “The schools know that we don’t offer PE because it is not required by universities,” Ms. Sanchez said. “So, most of the time, they might just do, like, a physical test, and, if you pass, you don’t have to [take a P.E. course]. That will depend on the school that you are transferring to.”
Students considering a mid-year transfer should aim to be all caught up on assignments. “Because we grade by year and not semesters, we will send the school you’re transferring to your progress report, but it will depend on the school you are transferring to if they will accept those grades or not,” Ms. Sanchez said.
“If you withdraw mid-semester and you don’t have a passing grade in any class or have an incomplete due to content assessments or low cog skills, the incomplete will be reflected as an F on your official transcript,” Rainier Dean of Operations Lupe Trujillo said. The same policy applies to end-of-year transfers to any school, including Tahoma.
“If you transfer at the end of the year, your grades will be like any other school. You will have your credits,” Ms. Sanchez said. “But if you have an incomplete, it will be an F and then you will not be able to remake it.”
The Summit Rainier faculty and staff have compiled a list of alternative options for students who do not want to or can not attend Tahoma. Students and parents are welcome to look at this informational slideshow that staff put together.
Here is a selection of perspectives taken from the journalism survey given to Rainier’s junior class. (When necessary, responses have been edited for clarity and length.):
“I feel emotionally drained and heartbroken that I am leaving people I know behind. Academically, I would have to adapt to new teachers and students at Tahoma within one year. I just think that would be hard, especially as a senior.”
– Tuong Nguyen
“I feel upset that the organization’s higher-ups made the decision behind closed doors without planning for where the students are going, where the teachers are going, and if the teachers and admin will have jobs next year. They essentially fired all their staff a year in advance without anybody having any say or opinions in it.” -Alison Kobayashi
“ On my worst days, I came to school and my teachers and friends make me smile. On my best days, I actually enjoyed coming to school. Throughout everything this school built me into the person I am, and I am completely disgusted by the acts of the higher-ups at Summit.”
– Dylan Gage
“This change was so sudden and I never expected this. It saddens me to think that I won’t be seeing my close friends or teachers next year and that our last day of junior year will really be our last day of school. Summit’s community is unlike any other schools and I won’t be able to enjoy my senior year here.”
“It’s a slap in the face to tear down this community when I’ve spent three years getting attached to it. Three years is quite a long time to see the same people and same faculty every day… I’ve become attached to them, and as each day passes, I care about them a little more than the previous day. I love my group. I love my mentor. Not being with them has been the biggest way this has affected me.”
– Abraham Rios
“This change has personally negatively affected me because it will separate me from the community that I have been with since the beginning of my high school life and the friends that I’ve grown close to over the years.”
– Justin Navarrete
“It’s hard because I understand why the school is being closed, but at the same time, it’s hard to adjust to having to switch schools for only one year before we’re off to college. It’s especially hard since mentor groups will be split up and we won’t be able to graduate with the friends we’ve been with for the past four years.”
“The school closing down was very unexpected, this is a change that will affect everyone in a difficult way. I feel like the whole school felt even more personally offended when Diane chose to just sit there for 5-10 minutes and leave as soon as Mr. Jackson finished speaking. Adding on to that , the board said they would be in the faculty room to answer questions after, but that was another lie. It was left up to our principal to answer questions, resulting him to end up in an emotional state with many of our other staff which none of them deserve.”
– Ricky Santos
Featured Image (at the top of this post): Rainier juniors Hannah Kuo, Tuong Nguyen and Lam To share a hug. PHOTO CREDIT: Vu Nguyen