SHS launches students out of high school

February 12, 2009 — by Ren Norris

There is no doubt that the growing financial problems that President Obama recently inherited have an effect on education all over the nation. Many schools are living with tighter budgets and insufficient funding for public schools. With less money for extra activities and programs, Saratoga High needs to be effective in innovating the classroom and other activities to launch students to college, jobs, and other opportunities after high school.

Extracurricular activities are an area where many students here excel. Through the school’s strong programs and departments, students can follow their interests that can lead to other opportunities, even if they are unrelated to academics.

Senior Aaron Garg is one example. Among other things, his love for music and his experience with Saratoga High’s band took Garg all the way to Beijing, China, to perform with a Bay Area Orchestra group for the Olympic countdown in the summer of 2007. The orchestra combined western music with Chinese to celebrate the coming Olympics the next year.

Garg recognizes Saratoga’s music program as being what sparked his interest in music.

“Without [the music program], I wouldn’t have gotten where I am because the department is so good and I get to play with other great musicians,” said Garg. “We’re exposed to really high level, college level, music.”

Saratoga High has provided many chances for the students to thrive and use Saratoga as a springboard to a successful future. The school is developing an outstanding media arts program that will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility, and over 70 campus clubs and organizations allow students to explore interests outside of the classroom.

Despite good opportunities provided by Saratoga’s extracurricular activities, classrooms also need more innovation to aid students in achieving their goals, whether that is to get into a prestigious college or just to graduate from high school. The school’s budget will be cut next year as part of the state’s larger problems. For now, students can anticipate larger class sizes. This is tough for everyone, and in a class of 35 or 40, some students are occasionally left in the dust. Even so, each teacher needs to look at those not up to the speed of the rest of the class and try to give the help to allow them to improve as a student.

Even money for new technology may become scarce, putting even more pressure on the existing technology that teachers use. With the economy the way it is now, many of the activities that boost students into greater opportunities could get cut short in the future. This means that every teacher needs to be effective with the resources they have. Classes should focus on not only learning the required material, but also teaching students how to apply what they have learned to situations outside the classroom.

With so many students on the road to college and beyond, Saratoga High has one goal— to help every student on campus fulfill their potential and achieve success. This is accomplished through activities provided by Saratoga that lead to opportunities later on in life. However, with the changing economy and cuts to education, the school needs to improve on making every classroom efficient to provide a strong base that will not only help students pass tests, but also guide them to a successful future.

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