“Houston, We’re Ready For Take Off!”
Learn about the new Voyager Program coming next year at JB
May 23, 2018
Three…two…one…blast off! During the 2018-2019 school year, the Voyager Program will be launched at James Buchanan High School.
The Voyager Program is a self-driven class for students, which includes three different disciplines: English, Social Studies and Art. Students will be coming up with their own projects that encompass these subjects. The program is worth three credits, one for each subject.
Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich(Faculty), one of the five coordinating teachers of the program, said “One of the examples we gave was a student built a bass guitar. So with that, he would write a paper maybe on the history of bass guitars, but then he also found music and wrote music for it.”
The Voyager Program is made up of a lot of open-ended work that is done in the students’ own time. Students will be tasked with completing two projects a marking period for two marking periods. It is compared to college, where students do a lot of learning on their own, but they also have to manage their time. To help students, the coordinators set up weekly journals where students have to report their progress. They are also hoping for at least one class period where students can come to any of the coordinators and receive time and help on their projects.
“This could really benefit students that might not learn perfectly in a regular classroom setting,” said Chambers.
Rather, students learn school subjects through what they love and have an interest in. Some students do not excel in the typical classroom setting, but the Voyager Program enables students to learn in a different environment.
“For example, when I was in high school, I would have excelled in a program like this, but that’s because I could have focused on art and then learned the history and English related to it,” said Chambers.
Mr. Rodney Benedick (Principal) first found this idea form Central York High School’s Apollo Program, where each student has their own tailored way of learning. Several teachers became interested, including Mrs. Danielle Fox (Faculty) for English, Ms. Jena Antonelli (Faculty) for Social Studies, and Mrs. Erin Martin (Faculty) and Chambers for the Arts. The program is being led by Mr. Michael Mele (Faculty).
In the end, the teachers involved are looking for what students can take away from this program. They feel this program can help prepare students for life outside of high school and into college. They hope to have fifteen students this next year to make the program really take off.
“We are looking for any driven student. I don’t think there is any cookie-cutter student for this program and I think that’s what’s great about it,” said Chambers. “If you are driven and willing to put in the work, willing to grow as a student and to work with your teacher mentors, I think that’s the ideal student.”
The teachers and staff here at JB are looking forward to seeing how this program does next year and years to come, hoping learning can reach new heights.