By Eric Erickson
Year two of the block schedule
St. Paul Public Schools started utilizing a block schedule of classes at every high school last year. Students have up to four classes a day that meet for 80 minutes each. Then students have up to four different classes the next day for 80 minutes each.
At Como, freshmen and sophomores have full loads of classes, while many juniors and seniors who are on track for graduation have a late start, early release and/or a study hall built into the middle of their day.
Como continues to offer a wide range of Advanced Placement courses across the curriculum as well as a few College in the Schools courses. AP classes are self-selected open enrollment for students meeting grade-level criteria.
Juniors and seniors who meet grade-point-average requirements can also participate in Postsecondary Enrollment Options at local colleges and universities. Dozens of Como upperclassmen are currently taking at least one class on a college campus, which some students say is easier given the block scheduling.
This is also the second year of St. Paul Public Schools providing sophomores with a required semester-long course in Critical Ethnic Studies. Teachers of CES have been trained by district content leaders and work collaboratively to share best practices and resources.
Homecoming games Oct. 7
Spirit Week at Como is scheduled for the first week of October. The Homecoming Dance is Friday the 6th, with Saturday the 7th set aside for three Cougar games on the Como turf field.
The football team will kick off its homecoming game at 1 p.m. versus the Harding/Humboldt co-op team. Later, soccer will take center stage beginning at 5 p.m. for the Mayor’s Cup matches against Humboldt. The boys’ teams will face off first, followed by the girls at 7 p.m.
Hard-working JROTC cadets
Como’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC cadets worked 12-hour shifts for seven days of the Minnesota State Fair as a fundraiser for their upcoming activities this school year. With over 100 JROTC cadets in the program, crews of 35–40 served the masses by emptying and hauling garbage on the grounds.
The hard work set a school record for most funds raised, and there are big plans to use the money for experiential learning and team building during the current school year. This includes Fall Leadership Camp and the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in November.
Eric Erickson is a teacher at Como Park Senior High School and a regular contributor to the Bugle.
Photo credit: Cadets from Como’s Marine Corps JROTC served on the sanitation crew for seven days of the Minnesota State Fair. Photo by Sgt. Major James C. Kirkland.