The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Changes to 2015 alternatives

Students on Alternatives next year will see changes to the trips, including changes in the trip dates and more student voice involved in the development of the trips.

The administration has decided to move Alternatives back two weeks, which allows students to work and bond with their trip groups more before the trips take place. With the trips being moved back, they will lead directly into October Break as well.

The official trip dates are Monday, September 28 to Thursday, Oct 1. Students will have Friday off, along with the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for October Break.

To put these dates into perspective, last year’s Alternatives ran from Tuesday, September 16 to Friday, September 19. Students then attended a week of school, and went on October Break the following week.

These new dates have been implemented for a couple of reasons. The later departure date allows for Alternatives groups to meet more than the two times they did this year prior to the trips.

The reason the trips are now running from Monday to Thursday instead of Tuesday to Friday is that the SAT may be on Saturday, October 3 and faculty do not want students arriving late on Friday night and having to take the SAT the next day.

This year, students traveled to 27 different destinations, but Melina Asnani (’17) feels that it is unfair that some people get to go to exotic places such as Morocco while others travel to more local destinations. “Some people have trips they don’t have too much interest in, while others have trips that are all fun,” Asnani said. At the same time, she would like for trips to have more of a balance between education and free time.

Director of Student Life James Perry claims there are no geographical limitations for these trips, just monetary limits. A certain amount of funding is allocated to each student, and the teachers have to make that work. “My understanding is the limits are more financial than geographical,” he said.

Perry also states that the faculty is looking to incorporate students’ opinions more in the decision making process. One idea that is floating around the administration is the upperclassmen would design or give input on the trips, but nothing is set in stone.

Perry thinks it is a “great idea” to let students have a say in the planning of Alternatives. “I think involving the students more is something we would like to incorporate for next year. What we don’t want is an Alternative trip where 75 percent of the kids on it have their eighth or ninth choice,” Perry said.

Involving students would be a change because for the past few years, the process only involved teachers input and no students. Teachers would present a trip idea to the administration and if accepted, these teachers would chaperone the trip. Students would then be assigned to the trip at a later date, via a lottery system.

Perry believes that the faculty is committed to improving the Alternatives for students. “We want this to be a great experience for both the chaperones and the kids involved,” he said.

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