An Eagle eye’s view into the new Freshman Academy

More stories from Ella Ridge

     Many students have been wondering what all the hype is about at Taft’s new Freshman Academy on 4071 N. Oak Park Ave. Here are a few answers to your questions.

     Taft’s Freshman Academy was once just an idea back in October of 2018,but is now up and running with  about 1,200 students in attendance. As beautiful as it is inside, with its brightly colored hallways and hints of modern architecture, the Freshman Academy is still not complete. The computer science lab is without computers, some classrooms do not have enough desks for students to sit in, smart boards and projectors aren’t fully functioning, and the gymnasium is not ready to be used for gym class. In spite of these issues, the teachers and students are enjoying the new campus and new opportunities.

     “This new building is great for both of Taft’s campuses,” said Assistant Principal of the Varsity Campus Ryan Glowacz. “I think Taft students deserve a state of the art $77 million dollar building… it gives the students a sense of pride.”

     In addition to the new building and location at the Freshman Academy, the students and teachers are also trying a new concept called “houses”. Teachers within a “house” have the same 150 students from a mix of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, college prep, honors, and college prep inclusion so that teachers can collaborate and get to know their students as a team. The “houses” allow the students to have the connection of being in a handful of the same classes together.

     According to Freshman Academy math teacher Morgan Brauer, “When the houses were divided, the staff wanted a mix of students from different elementary schools. The one big change I’ve noticed is their eagerness to learn.”  

    Overall, the new Freshman Academy has already had a positive impact on both the students and teachers. The new campus environment has provided the students the freedom to learn without the outside influence of the upperclassmen and provide a new inclusive experience for all incoming freshmen.

      “Personally, I love my classes… I like high school a lot and meeting new people is cool,” said freshman Anthony Garcia, Div. 330.

      “I like that the transitions between classes are fast, which is a totally different concept from 8th grade,” said freshman Jaydon Tran, Div 328.

      Despite there now being two campuses, the new Freshman Academy has brought the Eagle community closer together.