By Eric Erickson

New semester, new feel

As the first semester for students ended Jan. 25, teachers used the next day to complete evaluations of student assessments, post final grades and prepare new courses for the Jan. 29 start of second semester.

At this transitional time of the academic year, students experience changes to their daily class schedule, since many classes are one semester in length. For full-year courses, the goal is for students to keep their same teacher even though there are frequently alterations to when a class may be offered or fit into a student’s schedule.

Collectively, the changing schedules create a feeling of a fresh start in school as new combinations of students emerge in classes and new daily patterns are formed.

One big change for sophomores involves Human Geography and Critical Ethnic Studies (CES). Each is a one-semester required class; half the 10th graders who had CES first semester will now take Human Geography, and vice versa.

All seniors transition their social studies coursework from government in the first semester to economics during second semester.

Another change affecting dozens of seniors is that those who are enrolled in the Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program are now switching to new courses on the college campus they attend during part of their academic day.

New health club

More than 20 Como students are active members of a new club called HOSA, which stands for Health Occupation Students of America.

Como is the first St. Paul Public School to establish a HOSA chapter. The organization is dedicated to developing the next generation of health care professionals.

Como’s HOSA chapter meets on Wednesdays during the school-wide seminar session.

Several guest speakers have presented interactive lessons to students. They include an optometrist, a lab technician, a midwife, a chiropractic radiologist and a school nurse. Many more health care professionals are scheduled to visit in 2024.

HOSA also plans to undertake community service projects and compete in healthcare competitions. Social worker Gail Grogan and science teacher Heather Norton-Bower are staff supervisors.

Spring musical coming in March

The spring musical at Como will be an adaptation of Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

Performances are scheduled for March 15 and 16 in the Como Park High School auditorium. Choir director Huy Tran and English teacher Suzanne Myhre conducted auditions and assembled the cast and stage crew in January. 

Eric Erickson is a social studies teacher at Como Park Senior High School and a regular freelance contributor to the Bugle.

Photo cutline: Como has established a chapter of HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America).
Photo courtesy of Como’s HOSA social media team.

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