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New Year, New Me

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New Year, New Me

Eighth grader Hailey Sandoval is excited to switch things up at the new Taft High School Freshman Campus.

Eighth grader Hailey Sandoval is excited to switch things up at the new Taft High School Freshman Campus.

Eighth grader Hailey Sandoval is excited to switch things up at the new Taft High School Freshman Campus.

Eighth grader Hailey Sandoval is excited to switch things up at the new Taft High School Freshman Campus.

Tatum Thompson, Reporter

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During a community forum held at Wright College on Oct 23, Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th ward) confirmed a plan to solidify boundaries for the new Taft academic center and freshman campus.     

     With plans for the facility already being drawn up, it is important to ask: Are students even excited for this change? Eighth grader Natalia Domanska (Div. 314) does not plan on staying at Taft for high school.

     “I am thinking about Lane,” Domanska said when asked where she plans to attend instead. Not even the brand new campus was enticing enough to keep her as an Eagle; however, she does note that “it would be nice to have an area where we are not intimidated” by upperclassmen.This feeling of intimidation and nerves around older students is not exclusive to Domanska.     

     Eighth grader Hailey Sandoval (Div. 314) agrees that sharing the halls with peers five years older than her can be daunting, but that has not stopped her from becoming eager for the transition to the new campus. “At first, I did not know there was going to be a new building, but since I have heard about it, I have been really excited about it,” said Sandoval. “I am excited to be in the nice, new building,” Sandoval continues, explaining that the building was a factor in her decision to stay at Taft.

     The building is not enough to inspire all academic center students to stay. Seventh and eighth grade English teacher Allison Taylor, who expects to follow her pupils to the new building, describes the situation that many of her students face. “Some kids I have in the academic center travel really far [to attend Taft], so sometimes they choose a high school that is closer to the neighborhood they live in.”

     Distance is a fair concern, but so is the brand of a selective enrollment school. Taylor states that for “some students, though, the pull of selective enrollment is engraved in their minds,” and that could contribute to students wanting to leave after their eighth grade year. With the perception of selective enrollment schools being far superior to neighborhood schools, lengthy distance for most to think about, and a sense of fearing upperclassman, a brand new building is not enough to attract academic center students to continue on at Taft. Junior eagles are ready to flock the nest and explore other Chicago Public High Schools.

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